The ReptiPro 6000 is our favorite incubator!
This incubator gets our highest rating for a number of reasons, mainly the combination of style and function that is lacking in most other incubator models.
First, it is simply a good looking incubator. It is made of a durable molded plastic that is easy to clean and maintain. It also has a large viewing window that lets you see the entire inside of the incubator at any given time with a quick glance. With the silver finish and blue accent lights, it is an incubator you wouldn’t be ashamed to sit on your counter and show off to visitors. The clear shelves just help give it that little extra something.
Next, it is dead simple to use. Although we found that it required a little bit of setup regarding humidity, once we found our sweet spot, it was ready to go. The water tray in the bottom provides grooves that you can fill with water to raise your humidity. We started with it half full, and found that we only needed about 4 rows filled to get the humidity that we wanted. The temperature was easy to adjust with the touch of a button, either up or down.
While this was originally intended as a reptile incubator, it both heats and cools. It can hold temps as low as 40 degrees F up to 140 degrees F, making it ideal for all types of egg incubation, both bird and reptile. For bird egg incubation, there are also egg turners for the ReptiPro 6000 available. It can hold up to 2 turners for a capacity of 32 chicken/duck/goose eggs. It also comes with small cups to hold smaller eggs such as quail or pheasant.
Overall, the ReptiPro 6000 gets high marks for performance, style, value, and durability, making it our recommended choice for most breeders.
This incubator is a great versatile unit. With an included hatching tray and all digital controls, this unit really captures what “value” is all about. GQF offers a full line of cabinet incubators that, although they have a lower price point, are not inferior to the more expensive models.
However, when purchasing, make sure that you get the set of 6 plastic egg trays to go along with it- you’re going to need them, and they are worth the extra money.
The only real issue that we have seen occur with these is some damage from shipping to the edges of the incubators. The manufacturer will usually either help determine if it needs to be repaired, or will give you a partial credit to help compensate. Perhaps a little better packaging, especially on the corners, could help to make sure these get where they want to be scratch-free.
We love this incubator! The design is clever, and the digital controls are easy to use. With a capacity of about 20 chicken eggs, this suits the needs of most small or hobby breeders. It also comes with adjustable dividers, so it is easy to incubate different types of eggs without having to buy any additional equipment.
While the features are solid, we do question the durability of the turning base. It seems like if something is going to break on this incubator, that would possibly be it (this is just conjecture- ours did not break). That being said, we do like the design of the turner, and think that it is very clever to have the entire incubator turn instead of deciding how to turn the eggs inside. Even without the turning cradle, you can manually turn the entire incubator just by rocking it back and forth on to the different sides of the incubator. So if your base were to break, you would not be at a complete loss.
With simple controls, and unique design and concept, we give this incubator full marks for creativity and ingenuity. Plus, we had no issues with the operation of the unit during testing- everything went exactly as we planned, and it was easy to setup and maintain.
This incubator certainly has quite a bit going for it. Even though it has a relatively high price tag for the number of eggs that it incubates, the features here just don’t stop. This is a very cool, very innovative incubator.
Let’s start with one thing that I absolutely love in incubators- adjustable trays. This incubator includes a universal tray, which allows you to incubate various sized eggs at the same time by changing the spacing of the dividers. I am prone to incubating strange eggs, and like to be able to seamlessly move between them without having to buy different components or trays specifically for that egg type. There are lots of situations that would warrant you incubating a different egg size than you typically do, and to be able to do that with ease earns super brownie points in my book.
The R-Com 20 also has buttons and lights that excite me. There are buttons for adjusting temp, buttons for adjusting humidity, a setting button and a turning button. There are lights indicating the heat is working, the egg turner is working, the humidity pump is working, and a light that lets you know if you are out of water. There is so much information and functionality in this one little control panel that you can see what is going on at a glance and quickly make any desired changes to your incubation environment. It even saves your settings in the result of a power outage, so when it comes back on, everything is just how you want it to be, not at some strange factory default.
I also like the overall size and design of this incubator. It gives great visibility of all of the eggs with the large viewing window. It is not incredibly big or bulky, and fits easily on my countertop. With a weight of about 10 lbs, it is light enough to move and store as needed, but heavy enough to feel stable and grounded when in position. The R-Com 20 incubator is durable, and popular with high-end bird breeders, or those that want the best for their chicks.
The best of the best of the styrofoam incubators!
Although this has the shortcomings consistent with being made of styrofoam such as difficulty in cleaning and storage, it is by no means an inferior incubator! The 1588 can be set as low as 60 degrees F, making it possible to incubate either reptiles or birds, and the versatility doesn’t stop there.
Unlike the other Hova-Bator models, the 1588 features all digital temp controls as well as a automatic shut off to prevent “burn up” of eggs. It also has a read out of the humidity inside the incubator, making it easy to see all your necessary information in one place. It also has the large picture window, giving you great visibility of all your eggs.
As far as the styrofoam incubators go, this one is our recommended choice. It is worth the extra money (over the other Hova-Bator models) for the features that it provides.
This cabinet incubator gets top marks for simplicity and durability. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that many of the more expensive cabinet incubators offer, the value for money on this incubator is off the charts. It still includes everything you need- automatic turning trays, integrated hatching tray, and thermometer.
Due to the simplicity of design, there are very few things that can go wrong with this incubator. There are no errors in digital controls to deal with, and replacement parts for anything that did go out is pretty inexpensive to replace (a new wafer will run you a whopping $7 or so).
So while this just can’t rate high in features, the quality, durability, and value of this incubator puts it above most of the other cabinet incubator options available on the market today.
This incubator is a nice, compact plastic incubator. Holding about 20 chicken eggs, it is a relatively easy to use device.
First, this guy comes with very few features (there is an advanced version with more). Basically, it comes preset for chicken eggs, so it is really a plug-and-play machine. You can adjust it slightly, however the range is not enough to work with reptile eggs.
What really excites me about this incubator is the shape. Where most egg incubators have turning trays that are additional, this one makes manual turning a snap. With the octagon shape, you can rock the entire incubator back and forth to simulate the mother hen moving the eggs. While many features are lacking, this little bit of intrigue and cleverness of design makes me give it an extra point for creativity in function. It can be combined with an automatic turning cradle that will agitate the eggs for you.
This is a great starter incubator, but if you are looking for more control over your hatch, then you may want to go ahead and spring for the Advance with the digital controls. However, if you want an incubator that you can just plug in and start incubating without a lot of fuss, then the Brinsea Octagon 20 Eco will work wonderfully for you.
While many are not fans of styrofoam incubators, it is important to recognize that GQF is trying to marry features with affordability. This incubator still features the wafer thermostat, unlike the 1588 that boasts digital controls. However, this incubator does come with the Turbofan system, making it a circulated air incubator. This is the main upgrade of this incubator over the 1602. There are turners available to add to this unit, but without it can hold about 130 quail eggs or 50 chicken eggs.
Although the turbofan does help, this unit still has many of the same problems that the other styrofoam incubators have. It is just asking for bacteria growth as it can’t be cleaned with a lot traditional cleaning solvents. It also has a pretty small viewing window, but that is pretty much what you get when you pay less than $100 for an incubator. Expect to replace it every couple of years due to wear and tear. As with most things, this incubator will last longer the better care you take of it. Make sure it is stored in the box during off season to help prevent cracks and breakage.
As far as HovaBators go, this model is pretty nice.
This incubator features the styrofoam construction that is lightweight and easy to move as needed. However, this construction is not typically as durable as other types of materials. Still, this incubator does have some features to help make up for the construction.
The GQF 1583 has a large picture window that allows you to see all of your eggs, which is a huge improvement over the 1602 and 2362. This one also features the Turbofan system, which means that it uses circulated air to keep temps consistent and even throughout the unit.
Although this unit still uses the wafer control system, it is pretty easy to set it and forget it, making this a good incubator for beginners or low-volume breeders. Just make sure you are storing it properly to keep it from becoming damaged. It is important to use a cleaner that is safe on styrofoam as well, as some cleaners will eat through the material making it virtually unusable.
The 1602 is about the most basic, inexpensive incubator you can get. Made from styrofoam, this unit does not offer the durability that other incubators boast, but for the price, it is hard to complain.
This provides very little in the way of features. It has a manual thermostat setting (wafer-style), no digital temperature readout, no humidity reading or display, and egg turners are not included, but can be added on separately. That being said, it can still be a great choice for someone who wants to try incubating without investing a lot of start-up money into the project. If you decide breeding is not for you, then you aren’t out that much. If you decide you enjoy it, then you can upgrade to a better incubator and continue to use this unit as a hatcher.
All in all, while I wouldn’t recommend this incubator to experienced breeders, the HovaBator 1602 can be a great introduction to incubation.