If you are looking to breed chickens, ducks, or quail, you will need to purchase an incubator to keep the eggs warm and humid so they can mature and hatch. However, dozens of brands are available, and many of them look like toys, so it can be challenging to look through them all to find something that will be suitable for your situation. We’ve chosen ten different models to review for you so you can see how they differ. We’ll tell you about our experience using them and any features they have that might make them stand out. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we discuss how these devices work, so you will know what to look for while you shop. Keep reading while we talk about capacity, stability, durability, its ability to create a suitable environment, and more to help you make an informed purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Apdo Egg Incubator||
|Best Value||Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator||
|AQAWAS Egg Incubator with Humidity Control||
|24 Eggs Incubator, Automatic Poultry Hatcher Machine with Automatic Tu||
|VIVOHOME Egg Incubator Mini Digital Poultry Hatcher Machine||
The 10 Best Incubators for Chickens, Ducks, and Quail – Reviews 2023
1. Apdo Egg Incubator – Best Overall
The Apdo Egg Incubator is our pick as the best overall incubator for chickens, ducks, and quail. It’s easy to set up and adjusts to fit multiple egg sizes. You can use it to incubate 12 chicken eggs, 9 duck eggs, 4 goose eggs, or 35 quail eggs. An automatic egg turner pushes and turns the eggs while keeping them evenly spaced for more effective incubation. The LED digital temperature control is easy to read and set, while the Smart Airflow system keeps the temperature even over all the eggs. A channeled panel helps to regulate humidity, and an LED candler allows you to see inside the egg to make sure it’s developing properly. There are even four small drinking cups for the chicks to use after they hatch and an over-temperature alarm to let you know if it’s getting too hot.
We enjoyed using the Apdo Egg Incubator, and we had plenty of success incubating eggs with it. The only problem we had is the turner doesn’t always work, so you will need to keep an eye on it and turn them manually on occasion.
2. Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator – Best Value
The Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator is our pick for the best value. It can hold up to nine chicken eggs and has a durable construction. It automatically controls the temperature and pushes the eggs and turns them, so you won’t need to do much once you have it set up besides adding water to keep the humidity high. A digital readout tells you about the environment at a glance, and it takes up very little space.
We had a lot of luck with our Magicfly and most of the eggs hatched. It’s perfect for children starting to learn how to incubate, and it has a good price. However, it’s not very large, and we noticed the temperature could fluctuate, so it may not be suitable for commercial purposes.
3. AQAWAS Egg Incubator with Humidity Control
The AQAWAS Egg Incubator with Humidity Control is our premium choice egg incubator for chickens, ducks, and quail. It has a huge capacity that can fit up to 192 eggs. It uses extremely durable ABS and Polypropylene plastic to last for many years without any signs of wear. It provides perfect temperature, humidity, and air circulation for the best results without adding a lot of noise to the environment. A large LCD digital panel makes it easy to see what the incubator is doing and make adjustments.
We loved using the AQAWAS and could hatch chickens by the dozens, and it’s suitable for any other type of egg as well. The only problem we had with it is the high cost that might put it outside many people’s price range.
4. 24 Eggs Incubator, Automatic Poultry Hatcher Machine with Automatic Turning
The 24 Eggs Incubator, Automatic Poultry Hatcher Machine with Automatic Turning is an excellent design that can hold up to 24 chicken eggs and is suitable for any other type of poultry as well, including ducks and quail. It turns the eggs automatically and has a built-in LED candle that allows you to see inside all of the eggs at once, so you will instantly notice if an egg isn’t fertilized or is falling behind schedule. It has a durable construction with a clear lid that provides maximum visibility of the inside. The digital control panel is easy to understand and make adjustments.
The only problem we had with the 24 Eggs Incubator was that it leaks a little, so you will want to watch what surface you put it on, and the clear top panel frequently fogged up, making it difficult to see all of the eggs.
5. VIVOHOME Egg Incubator Mini Digital Poultry Hatcher Machine
The VIVOHOME Egg Incubator Mini Digital Poultry Hatcher Machine is another smaller design capable of incubating about nine chicken eggs at a time. It’s fully automated and will turn the eggs and maintain the correct temperature automatically. It’s easy to clean so no bacteria will grow, and the LED display makes it easy to see what the machine is doing. Once you have it set up, you will only need to add eggs and water to keep it running.
We love these compact incubators and felt that the VIVOHOME Egg Incubator is very durable. However, there is no easy way to check the humidity, and we found the temperature gauge off by several degrees, but if you use a food thermometer, you can get an accurate reading.
6. GOOD MOTHER Automatic Egg Incubator
The GOOD MOTHER Automatic Egg Incubator has a large capacity that can hold up to 24 chicken eggs and an equal amount of any other type. It has a large front panel that makes it easy to see your eggs and the durable polypropylene and ABS plastic comprising the housing won’t crack or break. It features automatic temperature control and will turn the eggs for you too.
Unfortunately, there is no humidity sensor in the GOOD MOTHER, so you will need to purchase a hygrometer to make sure you have enough moisture in the air to hatch your eggs. We also found that the temperature fluctuates by several degrees, and while most of our eggs did hatch, we were always worried that the temperature and humidity wouldn’t be ideal.
7. GOOD MOTHER Egg Incubator
The GOOD MOTHER Egg Incubator is the second incubator on our list from this company, and this model is a little smaller but still holds plenty of eggs and will allow you to incubate up to 18 chicken eggs at once. The LED display is easy to read and set to create an environment suitable for any egg. It has an automatic water-adding device that allows you to increase humidity without opening the machine and releasing heat.
The downside to this GOOD MOTHER is that it has poor instructions, and if you are not familiar with incubating eggs, you might have a little difficulty with the setup. We also felt that it allows you to put too much water inside, which increases the humidity more than needed and might reduce your chances of a successful incubation.
8. Eggs Incubator for Hatching
The Eggs Incubator for Hatching is a small unit for incubating up to five chicken eggs at a time. It’s perfect for school projects and for gaining experience. It’s easy to use and features a 360-degree view, so you will always know what is going on outside. It turns the eggs automatically, so you won’t need to open the unit unless you are putting water in it, and the digital display is large and bright, so it is easy to make adjustments.
The Eggs Incubator is a fantastic little machine, but it is a little too small for a chicken farmer who would regularly incubate eggs and need a larger device. There is also no humidity detection, so it’s hard to know when to add more water and since the incubation area is so small, lifting the lid resets the environment.
9. Egg Incubator, 96 Eggs Digital Incubator with Fully Automatic Egg Turning and Humidity Control
The Egg Incubator, 96 Eggs Digital Incubator with Fully Automatic Egg Turning and Humidity Control, is a large incubator that will allow you to incubate up to 96 chicken eggs at once. A large front panel keeps you informed of the humidity and temperature at all times and allows you to make changes with ease. It automatically turns the eggs, and the transparent walls let you see what is happening inside.
This machine is nice and large for commercial chicken breeders, but it is likely too large for anyone who does it as a hobby. While there is no noise rating listed on the box, we found it noisier than any of the other brands on this list, and the temperature would frequently fluctuate, and the display pane didn’t always line up with our tests.
10. All-in-One Egg Incubator
The All-in-One Egg Incubator is the last model on our list to review for you, but it still has plenty of features that might interest you. It has a large capacity of 30 chicken eggs, so it is the perfect size for most people. The simple design is easy to use and features a control panel for monitoring and adjusting temperature and humidity. It also turns the eggs automatically so they can incubate evenly.
The primary downside to the All-in-One Egg Incubator is the open design that allows too much heat to escape causing the heat to dissipate and temperatures to fluctuate. Fluctuating temperatures also greatly impact humidity, so we found it hard to maintain the proper environment, and before we were able to perfect it, the machine stopped working completely, with some of our eggs in the middle of development.
Let’s look at a few things you should consider before purchasing your next egg incubator for chickens, ducks, and quail.
One of the first things you will need to consider is the size of your incubator. Children and science experiments will usually do well with a smaller device that will incubate 12 or fewer chicken eggs. We also recommend these smaller units for people just gaining experience. If you have a chicken farm, especially one that deals in meat, you will need to replace your birds frequently, so we highly recommend getting a unit that allows you to incubate 20 or 30 eggs at a time. Finally, if you have a large farm that sells plenty of chickens for meat, we highly recommend one of the larger units on our list capable of incubating 90 – 120 eggs at once. We tried to list how many eggs each brand on our list could hold at once.
All of the incubators on our list can incubate different types of eggs and are suitable for chickens, ducks, and quail. Chicken eggs are used as a size guide because they are the most common, and more people are familiar with them. If your device claims to hold one dozen chicken eggs, you can almost always use it to incubate nine duck eggs, four goose eggs, or 35 quail eggs.
Heat and Temperature Control
Chickens, ducks, and quail eggs all require a constant warm temperature of 100-degrees to develop correctly and hatch. Too much fluctuation in temperatures can affect the development of the birds. It may even prevent some of them from hatching. Small fluctuations are normal but constant changes of several degrees, or more can damage your birds. We tried to point out any models on our list that had difficulty keeping an even temperature.
The next thing you will need to look for when choosing an egg incubator is its ability to maintain the proper humidity level. Most birds will do well with humidity between levels between 45 and 55, which is what it is in most homes, while others will prefer higher levels of 55 – 65. You will need to check the suggested humidity level for the kind of birds you have. Most machines have a tray or reservoir to add water every so often, but the brands that allow you to add water without lifting the lid are even better so you can maintain an even temperature. Unfortunately, humidity detection is something many brands can do better with, and we recommend you pick up a hygrometer to use with these devices for better results
Rotating the egg is essential for creating a healthy chick. It’s easy to rotate the eggs by hand, but you should do it every two hours, and opening the habitat that often will make it impossible to maintain correct heat and humidity. Most of the brands on our list use some mechanism to rotate the eggs, and some work better than others. We tried to point out and brands that weren’t successful with turning and recommend checking how well a machine performs in this category when researching a particular brand.
One of the most critical components of an egg incubator is proper air circulation. Most of the units on this list feature a fan that will move the air through the device to circulate correctly and maintain an even atmosphere without hot or cold pockets that could slow the development of your chickens and other birds.
An LED candle allows you to see inside the egg while it is developing to see if the egg is fertilized and progressing at the proper pace. You can swap out eggs not developing correctly to maximize the number of chicks that hatch. The LED candle is not essential, but it is a nice feature that allows you to be more productive. We tried to point out which models include a LED candle, but you can also purchase a third-party model at a low cost.
When choosing your next egg incubator, we highly recommend our pick for the best overall. The Apdo Egg Incubator allows you to incubate nine chicken eggs at once, so it’s perfect for children and people just starting out learning how to hatch eggs. It does a great job maintaining temperature and humidity, and it also turns the eggs for you and has a built-in LED candler to see how your eggs are developing. Another smart choice is our pick for the best value. The Magicfly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator lets you hold up to nine eggs and is extremely durable. We had great success with ours, and it requires very little attention.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over these reviews and found a few brands you would like to try out. If we have helped you bring some new baby chicks into the world, please share this guide to the best incubator for chickens on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: All in One, Amazon