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It is indisputable that we can raise chickens and other poultry birds even without living on a farm. Backyard poultry farming is pretty interesting and widely practiced, but it often requires energy, commitment, and technicalities, such as hatching fertilized eggs in other to get chicks. I want to point out that not all hens sit on their eggs to hatch them. Hence, you will need a small or mini egg incubator to hatch those eggs.
Even as a beginner in backyard chicken farming, it is important that you have an egg incubator. This is because some hens refuse to sit on their eggs after laying. Sometimes, predators like snakes, mongooses or weasels could come to steal the eggs. But with an incubator, your chicken eggs will get the warmth and humidity required for chick formation and successful hatching. Additionally, all the eggs in an incubator are safe from predators.
There are so many egg incubators on the market today and they come in different types, shapes, features, prices and functionalities. All the variations and the lack of experience make an egg incubator buying process difficult for a beginner.
This buying guide provides the most useful information about egg incubators to find the best mini egg incubator for beginners like you. We also reviewed six (6) best mini egg incubators, including our top pick from Magicfly, which comes with an LED display, automatic egg turner, and auto temperature control and can hold up to 12 chicken eggs. All these features come at a pocket-friendly price.
Best Mini Egg Incubators for Beginners
These top 5 incubators are the very best on the market and it is nearly difficult to say which is better than the other. However, we extensively researched each product to develop features that set some above others.
What would you think about an egg incubator that won the editor’s heart? The Magicfly Digital Fully Automated Mini Egg Incubator is a great and one of the best beginner incubators. It is a forced-air incubator that has been confirmed to be very easy to use, beginner-friendly and guarantees peace of mind for its users. It is a perfect incubator for classroom demonstrations, small backyard poultry farmers and teaching kids.
This model of Magicfly egg incubator can incubate 9 chicken eggs and 12 guinea fowl eggs at once. Of course, you can use it to incubate the eggs of quails, geese and guinea fowls. It has both an automated temperature controller and an egg-turner. If you don’t pay much attention to the egg turner, you will assume that it is not functioning, but it is functioning – it is just very slow. With the egg turner working automatically, you can save time and minimize hand contact with eggs, which may predispose the eggs to harmful bacteria or germs.
It is worth mentioning that this incubator is made with PP + ABS materials. Therefore, it is easy to clean, antiseptic and durable. It has an LED display at the top, making monitoring or keeping track of the temperature easier. Unfortunately, the Magicfly Digital Fully Automated Mini Egg Incubator has no hygrometer. Still, you can get a good and accurate humidity reader on the market at a very pocket-friendly price. You will need to manually adjust the humidity and add or remove water as needed.
You can name the Magicfly Digital Fully Automated Mini Egg Incubator a ‘set and forget’ incubator. Buying this mini incubator is a good decision for a beginner because it is great value for money.
We cannot exclude the Brinsea brand when discussing the best mini egg incubators. The Brinsea Mini II Advance Incubator falls into the category of the best mini egg incubator. Buying this particular incubator would be one of your best decisions. Why? As a beginner, you can easily use the Brinsea Mini II Advance Incubator and even achieve a 100% hatch rate. It is fully automated; therefore, manual egg handling is minimized and this reduces the possibility of contaminating the eggs.
This forced-air egg incubator is the best fit for beginners and anyone new to poultry breeding because of its major features. They include automatic egg turning, a temperature alarm system and a countdown to hatch and auto-stop.
The Brinsea Mini II Advance Egg Incubator has a standard egg holding capacity of 7 eggs (chicken, turkey, duck and goose). But if you want to increase the capacity to 14 eggs, you can purchase a 12-small egg disc.
Egg turning normally stops two days before hatching. This was considered by the manufacturer of this incubator and they added an auto-stop to the automatic egg-turning system. So you don’t have to worry even if you forget to disable egg turning at the right time. Also, being an easy-to-use incubator, there is an in-built digital display and micro-controls on the incubator where users can view the remaining days to hatching, incubator temperature and humidity readings, and egg turning status. You can also adjust the temperature setting, turning angle and interval, cooling duration and temperature alarm limits easily via the controls close to the digital display unit at the top.
This incubator has central water reservoirs with external water top-ups to control the humidity. Of course, the Brinsea Mini II Advance Egg Incubator has exceptional visibility, making the incubator perfect for teachers, hobbyists and small-scale breeders.
Cleaning this incubator is easy because it is made of hygienic ABS plastics. This material also increases its durability. That said, you might find this product as expensive as a mini incubator, but considering its features, it is worth the price.
Beginners who want to try a mini egg incubator should give the Brinsea Mini II Advance Incubator higher consideration. It is indeed a great value for the money.
If you are looking for a reliable and easy-to-use egg incubator, you might want to check out the Manna Pro Harris Farms Nurture Right Incubator. This incubator can hold up to 22 eggs of various sizes and breeds, and it has an automatic egg turner that rotates the eggs every four hours to ensure even heating and development. It also has a built-in temperature and humidity control system that monitors and adjusts the conditions inside the chamber to provide the optimal environment for hatching chicks.
The Manna Pro Harris Farms Nurture Right incubator has a clear window that allows you to see the eggs and chicks without opening the lid. It also has a 360-degree view that lets you observe the entire process from all angles. The incubator is easy to set up and operate, and it comes with a user manual and a quick start guide that explains everything you need to know. Additionally, there is a countdown timer that tells you how many days are left until hatch day and an alarm that alerts you when the temperature or humidity is out of range.
One great thing about this incubator is that it is designed to be safe and durable, and it has low power consumption and long service life. It is a great choice for anyone who wants to hatch their own chicks at home or in the classroom. It is suitable for beginners and experienced hatchers alike, and it offers a fun and educational experience for the whole family.
Are you new to egg incubators or want to try mini egg incubators? You should consider the Good Mother Digital Fully Automatic Incubator. This Good Mother incubator model is the perfect fit for you if you’re just learning about egg incubators, have a tiny space or trying to demonstrate or experiment with incubators. You will undoubtedly find this incubator easy to use, and despite its small size, its versatility is impressive.
This incubator has an inbuilt fan and holds 9 chicken/goose/duck eggs or 16 quail/pigeon eggs. Being a fully automatic incubator, it features automatic egg turning and temperature and humidity control.
Since the egg-turning function is automatic, it saves you the time and hassle of turning the eggs yourself. This also lowers the chances of the eggs being contaminated because you won’t be touching the eggs every time.
Likewise, the humidity and temperature controls are automatic. Many users testify to the incubator’s ability to hold temperature well and maintain stable humidity to achieve an impressive hatch rate. The manufacturer recommends that the device should be enclosed with clothes to achieve temperature uniformity, reduce the dissipation of heat and save energy. There is a digital display unit on the incubator lid where you can check or monitor the temperature reading.
The Good Mother 9-12 Digital Fully Automatic Incubator is built with the PC+ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). This material is easy to clean, non-toxic, durable and environment-friendly.
Although a new incubator, the Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator is among the best mini egg incubators for beginners. This incubator is not only for beginners. It is also suitable for home, classroom and lab use because of its high reliability, durability and ease of use. It can be used for teaching kids or for demonstration.
With this incubator, you can hatch 12 standard eggs, whether quail, chicken, goose or duck eggs. Even though it is a little costlier than some of the incubators above, the Kebonnixs incubator provides similar features that others carry and an additional feature – an egg candler.
An egg candler is a device used to check if an egg is fertilized and to observe embryonic development in an egg. Most incubators on the market don’t come with egg candles. It is usually bought separately. However, the Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator comes with an inbuilt LED egg candler for users to track and monitor egg development.
This incubator model features an advanced temperature control program. Simply put, it uses a technology that tracks and records temperature changes thrice in one second. It is the data gathered that the incubator uses to provide a much more stable temperature. Additionally, the built-in air fan and water channel in the incubator help to maintain humidity. It has an external water top-up and you won’t need to open the incubator’s lid to fill the water, causing fluctuations in humidity and temperature. Get real-time updates on the humidity and temperature conditions, including egg turning time and hatching date, with the digital display at the top.
A viewing window on all sides of the incubator makes it easy to see your eggs, chicks, and other things going on inside the incubator.
The automatic egg turner works every minute by tilting and rolling the eggs. The automatic egg turning will stop when it remains 3 days for the eggs to hatch.
If you want to have a higher hatch rate or learn egg incubation easily, the Kebonnixs 12 Egg Incubator should be highly considered.
The Triocottage Digital Mini Automatic Incubator is another small incubator that can give you an easy and happy egg incubation experience. For both beginners, hobbyists and experts, this is one of the best mini egg incubators. It is also great for classroom demonstrations, teaching kids about incubations and home poultry breeding. It is easy to use, reliable, well-designed and beginner-friendly.
Made with non-toxic Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic material, this incubator is easy to clean and durable. If you like or observe your eggs from the outside, there is a viewing window at the front of the incubator. The window is visible enough to see what is happening inside the incubator.
This incubator is the forced-air type (comes with a built-in fan) and the fan distributes heat and air to all the eggs in the incubator. Temperature control is automatic and accurate. There is a clear LED display at the top showing the temperature reading. This device also comes with Styrofoam as extra insulation for better stable temperature, which is essential for a good hatch rate.
The Triocottage digital mini automatic incubator has a stepped sink underneath for effective humidity control. The stepped sink is filled with different amounts of water at different periods.
Using this incubator, you don’t need to turn the eggs yourself. It features an automatic egg turner, which works every two hours. This also reduces manual egg handling and the chances of contaminating the eggs with germs through the hands. Note that you need to stop the egg from turning when it’s 3 days to hatching.
Unlike most mini incubators, this mini incubator model comes with a built-in LED egg candler to check if eggs are fertilized and monitor embryonic development. The holding capacity is 15 chicken eggs or 10 large eggs like duck, goose and turkey eggs.
The Hethya brand is not popular but has some well-designed or built egg incubators. The Hethya Pro 16 Eggs Incubator is one of them. This dual-powered egg incubating device is a good recommendation for kids or classroom demonstrations and for home use for hobbyists. Its ease of use, great design, beginner friendliness and reliability make it one of our list’s best mini egg incubators.
Being dual-powered, it uses both AC and DC power. Hence, if there is an AC power failure, you can easily switch to DC power using a 12V rechargeable battery. Furthermore, it comes with automatic egg rollers to turn eggs. You can set these turn eggs every 90 minutes. The egg tray is also adjustable to suit eggs of different sizes.
The Hethya Pro 16 Eggs Incubator has an inbuilt fan for warm air distribution or circulation and a water reservoir to help maintain the humidity required for proper egg development. There is an external water addition point and there is no need to open the incubator just to add water. Remember, it is not good to keep opening and closing the incubator because it will lead to fluctuating temperature and humidity. An overflowing channel removes excess water even if the water is too much.
There is an LED display unit at the top of the incubator with control buttons to set the temperature and an LED candler is also located at the top. There are heating and egg-turning indicators. This incubator also features accurate automatic temperature control. There is a viewing window on all sides; hence, observing things happening inside the incubator is easy. The abnormal temperature alarm draws your attention when the temperature is less or more than the set/programmed temperature.
The Hethya Pro 16 Eggs Incubator is made of ABS plastic material, making it easy to clean and durable. With the inbuilt LED light egg candler, you can easily check for egg fertility and monitor embryonic development in an egg. The incubator can hold 16 chicken and turkey eggs, 20 pigeon eggs and 24 quail eggs.
Vital Considerations When Choosing or Buying a Mini Egg Incubator
As mentioned above, choosing the right egg incubator for a beginner isn’t easy. This is simply because several types and models of incubators come with different features. So, if you’re trying to buy an egg incubator for the first time, you need to know the things that you must consider in order to make a decision – the right decision at that. If you ever buy the wrong incubator, getting a refund or achieving the best results might not be possible.
The following should consider the following before you choose or buy an egg incubator:
Size and Capacity
You should consider the size of an incubator because the incubator would take up some space in your home. Moving an incubator every time is bad, especially when you have eggs inside it. So, buying an egg incubator that will fit conveniently in the space or place created for it is important.
As a beginner, or if you have just a few fertilized chicken eggs that are not more than 10, a mini egg incubator is what you buy. Most mini-egg incubators can hold up to 12 eggs at a go, and one mini-incubator is usually sufficient for a beginner or hobby breeder. However, for large numbers of eggs, a medium or large incubator will be required for successful incubation.
Don’t forget that different bird species have different egg sizes. Quail eggs are the smallest; next are chicken eggs and the largest is the ostrich. Therefore, you should consider the bird species and egg size before deciding.
Airflow and Ventilation System
Based on the airflow system, an incubator can be a still-air or a forced-air incubator. The still-air incubators have no fans and the temperature needs to be higher before the eggs can get the required heat. They are also trickier and harder because almost all operations, such as temperature control, egg turning and ventilation, are done manually. For a beginner, using a still-air incubator is not a good option. However, this type of incubator has its advantages, including fewer mechanical issues and higher durability.
The forced-air incubator uses a fan to circulate warm air in the incubator. So you wouldn’t need to worry about ventilation. The hands-on effort is usually low if it is an automatically forced-air incubator with an auto temperature and humidity controller. Unlike the still-air type, forced-air incubators are the most beginner-friendly but often costlier.
Temperature and Humidity Control
Both temperature and humidity are important to embryonic development and hatching. The standard temperature and humidity required for successful incubation are 99-102oF and 20-60%, respectively. Any values lower or higher than those ranges would result in a poor hatch rate.
Some incubators come with a thermostat to automatically regulate temperature, while others don’t have this feature. There are also incubators with an auto-humidity controller. So they automatically adjust the humidity level within the incubator to what has been set. An automatic temperature and humidity control incubator is recommended for newbies or beginners. The user must be well-experienced in egg incubation and handling to use incubators with manual controllers.
The construction materials of an incubator must be considered when choosing an egg incubator. You must carefully find the materials used to build the exterior and interior parts of the incubator – it is very important.
The materials used for constructing incubators are mostly ABS and polycarbonate. They are easy to clean and non-toxic and recyclable. You should avoid incubators built with non-Eco-friendly, toxic and difficult-to-clean materials. The internal parts are mostly made of plastic except for the heating elements, fan and other parts that are made with metals. While these metallic parts may break down after some time, you can easily replace them.
If you’ve ever taken some time to observe broody hens, you must have discovered that they turn their eggs from time to time. This shows how important it is to turn eggs during incubation. This is because the embryo will not stick to one side of the shell, as this will lead to unsuccessful hatching. Therefore, you must keep turning the eggs in your incubator consistently for the first 18 days. You are expected to turn these eggs two to three times a day. Some egg incubators feature automatic egg turners; egg turning is done manually for others.