If you’ve decided to hatch chickens, you may be curious how an incubator works to make this possible. While the overall process is fairly simple, the machine can be complicated if you’re unsure of how to use it or what exactly it does.
First, it’s important to note there is two types of incubators you can use for incubating eggs. The first is a forced-air model, the second is a still-air model.
Forced-Air Models are often used in larger commercial areas. They often incubate several dozen to several hundred eggs are hatched at once. These models are not commonly used by one or two individuals (many cities will not allow these to be used by individuals), but rather by businesses as they are more expensive and quite large. There are smaller models available, but even these are recommended for a medium size business.
Still-Air Models are often used by individuals in home settings. These range in size from small to large models, and can hold anywhere from a few eggs to a dozen eggs. In still-air models air is not automatically regulated by the incubator but instead require a hands-on approach in order to hatch eggs successfully. These are affordable, and can be purchased for under $100.
Once you have determined which incubator works best for you, the next question you may have is what are the parts of an incubator. Individual parts vary depending on the model, but there are a few pieces that remain the same across the board. Most incubators have some form of temperature regulating system, a cover, an egg tray, and a vent system. More expensive models will have the added ability to regulate the internal air and humidity levels, and a turning system to automatically turn the eggs for you. Without these features you will need to manually regulate the conditions within the incubator.
While the basic models are more affordable, it may be worth it to invest in a slightly higher model for the additional perks, depending on the reasons you’re raising chickens.