How To Choose The Perfect Egg Incubator (And Use It Properly)

Once you get an incubator, I think you can officially be labelled a ‘chicken addict’! I always said I would never get an incubator – now I have two.

The fun of hatching your own chicken eggs is like having Christmas every day.

There are lots of different types of incubators out there, ranging from basic (still air) to fully automatic versions.

In this article we will break down the various types of incubators and explain their pros and cons.

We will also walk you through the incubation process and hatching eggs. There are certain things that need to be done to ensure the best hatch possible, so we have presented them here.
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5 Responses to How To Choose The Perfect Egg Incubator (And Use It Properly)

  1. Okami-San says:

    My first thought upon reading the title: “Well first you get to church, you don’t want to breed with any bar trollop you pick up on a Saturday night”

  2. Large Grade A@luis says:

    Fruit Of The Loom is where I keep my eggs.

    • Bacon says:

      Uh Luis, pretty sure those ain’t eggs, bro.
      If they are, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.

  3. Annie says:

    Some things to think about before you get an incubator. If you don’t have a rooster you won’t get any babies. Ask yourself why you want more chickens. If you just want to replace or expand the number of layers it would be easier to just buy more sexed chickens. When you hatch eggs you get as many boys as girls (or more) and you’re not going to be able to sell the boys or even give them away. So don’t get an incubator unless you want to eat some of them. If you can’t handle having some die, sometimes from something you personally did or didn’t do, don’t get an incubator. A good hatch from an incubator is around 50%. A good hatch from a broody hen is somewhat less than that, but less work overall.

    The first incubator I tried was a cheap still-air incubator, e.g. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/little-giant-still-air-incubator Worked fine. Most important thing is to get a brand that is known for keeping a steady temperature and keep it somewhere where the temperature stays as even as possible. If you get one that has an electronic thermostat don’t trust it (even the expensive ones), keep a couple separate thermometers in the incubator so you can verify that the temperature is good. It is better for the temp to be a little low (99) than a little high (101) I found the whole process works better without the automatic turner. For one thing you can put more eggs in it (around 50 rather than 40). For another it seems to me like more of them hatch. Put an X on one side and an O on the other of each egg with a wax pencil (pens or markers can poison the eggs) and turn them two or three times a day for 18 to 19 days. They hatch on day 21 or 22. You should be checking on them a couple times a day to make sure that the water hasn’t run out and the temperature is OK anyway, so why spend the extra money for the turner? I usually candle the eggs once after a couple of weeks or a little more (I never bought a candler, I just use a flashlight) and discard the eggs that aren’t developing so there’s room for the others to hatch.

  4. Plan K. Ton says:

    Kenny,
    Here is a chicken story that intersects with your “Florida” category:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article210188264.html

    I enjoy your blog and try to catch it every day from overseas. Keep the spirits up and drive on! By the way, in case no one has said “thank you” to you today, please accept my thanks for what you do and provide here.

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