With self-sufficiency becoming the most economically feasible path in our current fiscal state, purchasing and using chicken incubators to raise your own chickens is the intelligent thing to do. Not only are you creating sustainability, but also independence and cost-efficiency for you and your family.
So, if you’re looking to start practicing artificial incubation, it’s vital that you get a chicken incubator that not only works well, but works well for your personal needs.
Essentially, what this means is that while a lot of chicken incubators are created alike, not all humans are. Any incubator for chickens will hatch eggs if you use it correctly; the problem many people face is that they choose the wrong one for their lifestyle and wind up failing.
Choosing The Best Chicken Incubators
Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. The first rule of purchasing incubators is that the less money you spend, the more time you’re going to spend. If this works for you, say you’re retired and looking for a time-intensive hobby, then you can certainly save some money.
If you have the time, you can get some inexpensive Styrofoam chicken incubators that will hold around four dozen eggs at a time. These models have manual temperature and humidity controls and they require manual turning. This makes them not only the cheapest to buy, but also the most expensive to use.
Unfortunately, many people see the cheaper price and think that it’s a startup kit and buy them thinking they’ll be a breeze to navigate; they’re not. While you can be very successful incubating chicken eggs with cheaper incubators, be prepared to spend time and effort since manual incubation for chicken eggs is a labor intensive project.
Choosing these incubators will require your complete attention for 21 days (three weeks) so if you are planning on leaving your home in that time period (or can’t get someone to watch and turn the eggs), forget about cheap incubators.
Eggs will need to be turned by hand every few hours with constant monitoring of humidity and temperature multiple times throughout the day and night; these eggs are in your hands—fitting they be called manual incubators!
But when this does make the experience and end result all the more satisfying. Knowing that you incubated these chickens with your own two hands is reward enough for some people. Plus, buying some minor upgrades such as a turner or a fan to circulate the heat will help cut down on some of the work.
Fully Automatic Chicken Incubators
If you don’t have the ability or want to make that type of time commitment or even if you don’t trust yourself with such an intense task, going with fully automatic incubators for chicken eggs is the best way to go. These types of egg incubators control the temperature, monitor the humidity with a hygrometer (some have automatic humidity controls as well) and turn the eggs automatically.
The more advanced incubators have countdown mechanisms that stop turning the eggs on the 18th day so you don’t even have to worry about counting yourself. Of course, when you get such luxuries, you pay for them as well, so these egg incubators are more expensive than the simple Styrofoam ones.
The Bottom Line
In the end, you want to make sure that you buy the right type of chicken incubator for your resources, both time and money. Doing so will allow your artificial incubation process to be successful no matter what.