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Incubating chicken eggs.

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This is the second in a four-post series about hatching eggs from our 5 deceased laying hens who fell victim to a predator, along with nearly all of their temporary flock-mates, during their transitional stay at Harmonious Homestead. For more, read The Absence of Chickens.

Introducing another partner in our quest to raise a new generation of chickens, the HovaBator incubator from City Folk’s Farm Shop.


The HovaBator 1588 is a Styrofoam picture-window incubator with digital electronic controls and temperature and humidity sensors. It has a few optional add-ons, including the automatic egg-turner that we brought home with us.


Right out of the box, the entire operation is intuitive and easy to assemble. The bottom tray goes down first, then the water reservoir, the hardware cloth hatching surface and then the lid. Our automatic egg-turner sits on top of the hardware cloth grate, its power cord exiting through a small, specifically-manufactured channel.




The digital controls and sensor reading displays are all on the lid of the incubator, along with the large plexiglass window.

To get the eggs started, I searched the internet and found quite a few informative sites about hatching chicken eggs. Instead of giving you a step-by-step myself, since this is my first time endeavoring to hatch eggs, I’ll point you to some resources in the next post of this series.


3 responses »

  1. What do you think of the incubator? We have an old second hand polyhatch, but the thermometer has gone on it. I have rhea eggs in it at the moment, but so far we have not successfully hatched anything in it – we have relied on the turkeys and hens to do it for us. I am thinking of getting an OctagonAdvance as I am getting quite obsessed with baby chicks! Good luck with the hatch and I hope you have happiness in your new home.

    • Thank you!
      This is the only incubation I’ve ever attempted, so I have nothing else to balance my opinion against. It’s easy to set up. It seems to keep temp and humidity steady. There are forum posts on Backyard Chickens about people having some trouble with it, but my (short and single) experience has been trouble- free.

  2. Pingback: Candling Chicken Eggs. | Kate, on the way.

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