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5 Best Egg Incubator for Chicken Eggs – Automatic & Manual Turner

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Raising chickens on your property is a great investment, but choosing the right chicken incubator can muddy the waters before you even begin. With various companies offering a wide variety of sizes, models, and prices, the best option might be a little more difficult to discern right away. In order to help you make the best decision for your chicken raising future, I did some research on the chicken incubators with the best quality.

Our Pick:

Brinsea Products Manual Egg Incubator

This model allows you to hatch a decent number of eggs at once. It isn't too large, and is easy to clean. Although it has a manual turn, its size and shape will make it easy.

Choosing Chicken Incubator

Before you even look at incubator brands, you should determine how many eggs you would like to hatch at once. Incubators come in many different sizes and shapes, starting with only a few eggs and running all the way up to a few thousand. What is the size of your coop or yard where the future chicks will be living? Be certain you will have enough room for however many eggs you could potentially hatch.

If you're not sure yet, read this article to learn how many chickens should you start with.​

Something to remember is that no matter how many eggs you place in the incubator, it is likely that you will not hatch quite that many. In other words...don't count your chickens before they hatch. But do choose your incubator based on how many chickens you wish would hatch!

Another important planning point is to determine where you are storing the incubator during the incubation period. Be sure that you are choosing an incubator that will fit in that space. Additionally, make sure you are choosing an incubator that will be easy to clean regularly in that space. Something to keep in mind is that some incubators do not have automatic turners for the eggs. If your incubator does not, be certain you will be able to get to the eggs to turn them on schedule.

If you choose a manual over automatic, make sure you know how to turn the eggs in the incubator.​

Next you should decide how you would like to handle and measure your humidity and temperature. Some incubators have an automatic humidity pump, while others leave you to your own devices (sponges, pots, or channels). Not all incubators come with a thermometer, so if you would rather not buy one separately, pay close attention when purchasing your incubator.

Next, you will obviously want to choose based on cost. The incubators with more bells and whistles come at a higher price, but they might save you some time. On the other hand, some people prefer to do things by hand so that they can remain more involved in the process (or they just want their wallets to stay a little less empty). Choose what you think is best for your circumstances and commitment level.

​Finally if you want to learn how to hatch chicken eggs properly, read this article:

Best Chicken Incubator - Reviews

Now let's discuss actual products and determine which one is likely the best option.

1. 1602N Hova-Bator Incubator

This incubator holds 50 chicken eggs and the inside is heated with a radiant heat tube. Hot air runs through the exhaust vents and fresh air circulates in. The air ventilation will also be beneficial in drying the chicks after they hatch. The egg turner is sold separately, but a thermostat is included.

What we like:

  • Styrofoam frame is sturdy and dependable
  • Two viewing windows make watching the hatching process easier
  • Includes water tray for humidity

What we don't like:

  • Temperature can fluctuate depending on the surrounding room temperature
  • Screws on the top of the lid can become very hot
  • Fan (which helps maintain consistent temperature) is not included

Features:

  • Two small windows for top viewing
  • Sturdy sidewalls with rounded corners to promote better airflow
  • Proven thermostat with accuracy between 72ºF to 110ºF

Specifications:

  • Dimensions--5.51" x 19.38" x 20.06”
  • Weight--3.6 pounds

2. Brinsea Mini Advance Hatching Egg Incubator

This tiny model holds just seven eggs, but its bells and whistles seem to make up for the size quite well. A rotating disc sits on an automatic turner, which has an autostop that kicks in two days before hatching, improving embryo health.

With a microcontroller taking care of every single incubator function (thermometer alarm, thermometer, days left until hatching, and turning status), the operator can specifically program nearly everything. The airflow is assisted by a fan and there is a central water reservoir which maintains humidity levels. The dome-shaped window walls make viewing the process easy.

What we like:

  • Alarm system helps keep you on the correct schedule
  • Dome-shaped window enhances viewing experience
  • Automatic turner included

What we don't like:

  • Central water reservoir can dry out and humidity will drop
  • Thermometer has been known to be inaccurate
  • Price is high for a small incubator

Features:

  • Fan-assisted airflow to evenly heat eggs
  • Microcontroller to manage incubator functions via digital display
  • Clear chamber for viewing eggs

Specifications:

  • Dimensions--9.5" x 9.5" x 7.3"
  • Weight--2.6 pounds

3. Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator

This product, also available in a semi-automatic 10-egg model, holds 12 eggs and comes with an automatic egg turner. It has a humidity alarm, a thermometer, an alarm system, and temperature control. The smaller size makes it more portable and the LED display is also a plus.

What we like:

  • Makes very little noise
  • Climate control and automatic turner included
  • Smaller size makes it more portable

What we don't like:

  • Built-in thermometer only measures in Celsius and has been known to be unreliable
  • Possible low hatch rate
  • Lack of windows makes viewing the process impossible

Features:

  • Humidity alarm and auto thermometer
  • Automatic egg turner
  • LED display

Specifications:

  • Dimensions--13.97" x 7.4" x 6.88"
  • Weight--6.61 pounds

4. IncuViewTM All-In-One Automatic Egg Incubator

Literally the most transparent on the list, this incubator holds up to 27 eggs and includes an automatic turner. Its clear top enables easy viewing of the entire process, and it comes with a humidity gauge and automatic temperature control. The incubator is made of plastic, so it is easy to clean.

What we like:

  • Automatic turner and climate control make the process easier
  • Clear top makes watching the process more enjoyable
  • Simplicity of the design makes assembly easy

What we don't like:

  • Humidity gauge has been known to be inaccurate
  • Turner might not be gentle with eggs
  • Price is higher than some consider ideal

Features:

  • Automatic turner and humidity gauge
  • Clear top for easy viewing
  • Automatic temperature control

Specifications:

  • Dimensions--12" x 14" x 6"
  • Weight--5 pounds

5. Brinsea Products Manual Egg Incubator

Last but certainly not least, this product has a 24 egg capacity but claims to be suitable for various egg sizes. It has a liquid in glass thermometer with a flashing temperature indicator, and the rocking frame turns the eggs hourly. The window is large and makes the viewing experience more enjoyable.

What we like:

  • Plastic frame is easier to clean than the styrofoam models
  • Thermometer and climate control make controlling the process easier
  • Manual turner makes for a more hands-on experience

What we don't like:

  • Humidity levels can be difficult to maintain, especially during hatching
  • Temperature control can be tricky to use
  • Price is higher than some models

Features:

  • Manual turner and humidity control
  • Thermometer and temperature control
  • Plastic frame for easy cleaning

Specifications:

  • Dimensions--13" x 9.5" x 10"
  • Weight--8 pounds

Which Incubator is the Best?

Brinsea offers both automatic and manual turning products, and the manual won out in the end. While the small incubator (also by Brinsea) has more features that simplify the process, its price is the same as the larger model, which is a possible deal breaker. Thus, the Brinsea Products Manual Egg Incubator takes away the prize.

Our Pick:

Brinsea Products Manual Egg Incubator

This model allows you to hatch a decent number of eggs at once. It isn't too large, and is easy to clean. Although it has a manual turn, its size and shape will make it easy.

The only real disadvantage compared to other products is the price, but you are partly buying the brand name and the quality of the product.

The other incubators on the list are also excellent options. The reason Brinsea walked away with the win--and could have won second place as well--is ultimately the viewing experience combined with the plastic frame and the thermometer. While the styrofoam model is a great deal price-wise, it has very little space for you to actually watch the eggs turn and hatch, which for me is a deal breaker.

Magicfly has many positive features in its technology, but I can't get past the lack of windows. If you can't see what is happening to your eggs, it is very much a sit-and-wait-and-see game. IncuView pulls ahead of the rest in the viewing department, but it doesn't have the kick it needs electronically and the climate control reviews are less than exciting.

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