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Incubating equipment: everything you need for a successful hatch - and how to use it.

Incubating equipment explained: pin for later.

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. This page will remain open so that you can come back and have a look at other information later.

This page is written in two sections: firstly, links to reviews of incubating equipment and secondly, links to pages explaining how best to use it.

Part I: incubating equipment.

How to choose an incubator.

How to choose an egg incubator - link.

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, you need to consider which features you need, and which you can do without.

This article considers ten factors to take into account when you're looking to buy, whether it's your first hatch or you've done it many times before.


Incubators: Brinsea's Mini Advance.

A review of the best small incubator ever - link.

Ideal for anyone incubating a small number of eggs - up to 7 full sized or 12 bantam sized chicken eggs - this piece of equipment is particularly good if you have children, or if you're hatching at school.

Easy to set up, reliable and efficient, this is my very favourite incubator of all time. I've had two for several years now and they've never given me a moment's trouble.

This review page also has a short video about how to set up the Mini Advance.


A bigger incubator: the Brinsea Octagon 20.

The Brinsea Octagon Advance review - link.

If you want to hatch up to 24 chicken eggs, this is the smaller of the Octagon range and the next step up from the Mini Advance. 

From the basic model right up to the all-singing, all-dancing automated version, the Octagon 20 allows for more versatility than other incubators.

This article examines the pros and cons of the model, the advantages of the humidity pump and covers why Brinsea claims it can help stop the spread of the dreaded incubator bacteria.


A homemade incubator.

Homemade incubators - link.

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 looks at all 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.


Egg candlers review.

Review of Brinsea's egg candlers - link.

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 basic question of "Why use a candler at all" to a review of everything from the basic model to the hatch-o-holic's must-have piece of equipment, it's crammed with information to help you to make a true assessment of which will best suit your needs.

A must-read if you're intending to hatch at home or at school.


After you've hatched: brooder lamp reviews.

Review of chicken brooder heat lamps - link.

So your chicks are coming up to hatch and you suddenly realise you will shortly need to provide them with some heat!  What to do?

This article covers why heat is critical for chicks; why traditional heat lamps can be a real danger; why the smaller of Brinsea's lamps has its drawbacks and why the larger EcoGlow 50 is so much easier to set up.

Don't leave it till the last minute - make sure you understand about what's required in the brooder long before your chicks are due to arrive.


Part II: How to use incubating and hatching equipment.

How to set up the Brinsea Mini Advance incubator.

Brinsea Mini Advance incubator - review. Link.

If you're thinking of buying the Mini Advance, or you already have one, but aren't sure how to use it this page will help.

It covers not only the setting 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.

The article includes a short video showing exactly how to set up the digital settings for the best possible results.


Candling: how to do it.

How to candle eggs - link.

From the history of candling through to using flashlights, this article details how to go about candling eggs for those who are new to the experience - and those who have done it before!

It gives examples of what to look for at different stages of egg incubation, and 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, if you have the time and inclination.


From incubator to brooder: all you need to know.

From incubator to brooder : when and how - link.

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. It's all covered at this link.

When to move your chicks, when not to move them, what needs to happen before you do - this article is a step-by-step guide for all those who know in theory what needs to happen but need to hear about the practicalities of it.


Hatching chicks? Here's a guide to patterns to look for

Join my step-by-step guide to incubating and hatching chicken eggs - link.

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.

In each part you'll find one week's information about the equipment you'll be using, what's happening to the embryo as it grows in the egg and what to look for when candling the eggs.

It includes what happens during hatch day, and what to do if you candle the egg and discover a blood ring.

It's been called "My bible" and "An amazing resource which we have come to rely on". Don't miss it!


The best book about incubating and hatching chicken eggs.

Review of one of the best books about incubating and hatching there is. Link.

There is a huge amount of information written about incubating. Some of it is excellent; a lot is misleading and sometimes plain inaccurate.

Whenever I write about a subject I like to research it thoroughly, using scientifically-based articles, information from those I know and trust - and genuine experts like Gail Damerow.

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.

Preparing fertile eggs for a successful hatch - link.
How to choose the best chicken eggs for incubation - link.
How to handle, pack, transport and care for fertile chicken eggs. Link.
Incubating chicken eggs - an overview. Link.
All about caring for new chicks. Link.
What treats can chicks eat? - link

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, I'd love you to let me know by clicking this button - thank you!

Thank you for sharing the chicken love! 

Link to Raising Happy Chickens home page.