Incubating equipment: everything you need for a successful hatch - and how to use it.
So you're thinking of incubating and hatching your own chicken eggs but you're not sure where to start?
You've come to the right place!
Before you think about ordering hatching eggs, you'll need to have all the equipment in place to allow for a successful hatch. When you're just starting out, the choice between different types of incubators alone can feel overwhelming.
Which is where this page can help.
Here you'll find links to all my reviews of the equipment you'll need to see you through from setting the eggs in the right incubator, to watching as the embryo grows into a chick, to finally seeing your baby chicks hatch out.
Click on any of the images or on the titles and you'll go straight to that page.
Part I: incubating equipment.
There are dozens of different types of egg incubator, and technology means that new features are being added to old favourites all the time.
Before you spend what can amount to hundreds of dollars, this article considers ten factors to help you decide which features you need and which you can do without.
Ideal for anyone incubating up to 7 full sized or 12 bantam sized chicken eggs - this incubator is particularly good if you have children, or you're hatching at school.
Discover its features and benefits, the pros and cons, and watch my short video about how to set up the Mini Advance.
If you want to hatch up to 24 chicken eggs, this is the place to start.
From the basic model right up to the all-singing, all-dancing automated version, this article examines the pros and cons of the model, the advantages of the humidity pump and why Brinsea claims it can help stop the spread of the dreaded incubator bacteria.
Is it possible to make a DIY incubator at home? What are the pros and cons? And how successful are they in terms of hatch rates?
This article covers those questions and takes advice from local farmers in Italy who have been using a particular type of homemade incubator for generations, with a good level of success.
And I provide details of four different ways you could make your own at home.
This article looks at another critical piece of equipment during incubation: the candler, through which we can look at the inside of an egg as it develops.
From the common question "why use a candler at all" to a review of everything from the basic model to the more advanced, it's crammed with information to help you to make a true assessment of which will best suit your needs.
So your chicks are coming up to hatch and you need to provide them with some heat.
This article covers why heat is critical for chicks and why traditional heat lamps can be a real danger.
It goes on to review two of Brinsea's radiant heat lamps, their drawbacks and advantages.
Don't leave it till the last minute - make sure you understand what's required in the brooder long before your chicks arrive.
Part II: How to use incubating and hatching equipment.
This article covers not only the setting up of the Mini Advance but details of how to store your eggs immediately before incubating them, how to prevent bacteria during incubation and what the correct temperature and humidity levels should be.
It includes a short video showing exactly how to set up the digital settings for the best possible results.
From the history of candling through to using flashlights, this article details how to candle eggs.
With examples of what to look for at different stages of egg incubation, it provides links to more detailed pages about what's going on in the egg on different days.
It also has information about how to make two different types of inexpensive do-it-yourself candler.
Your equipment has worked perfectly, your chicks have hatched, your brooder is all set up. Now what?
The last hours in the incubator and the first in the brooder are critically important for the successful raising of baby chicks.
Here's a step-by-step guide for all those who know in theory what needs to happen but need to hear about the practicalities.
In this section, you'll find articles which look at the patterns to expect when incubating and hatching chicks, from setting the eggs to hatch day.
Each part contains one week's information about incubating equipment, what's happening to the embryo day by day and what to look for when candling the eggs.
It's been called "My bible" and "An amazing resource which we have come to rely on". Don't miss it!
There is a huge amount of information written about incubating. Some of it is excellent, a lot is misleading and much is sometimes plain inaccurate.
This book is where I go to whenever I'm unsure of information or want to confirm something about incubating and hatching. My edition is well-thumbed. Yours will be, too.
Other pages about before and after incubating chicken eggs.