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Tabletop incubators are the largest category of incubators. They are smaller models often used by schools, hobby breeders, or for specialized breeding projects that take up a relatively small amount of space. Easy to store, these are great for the seasonal breeder who doesn't want/have space for a large machine sitting around. Of course, since these are so popular, there are a lot of variety and options that can make it hard to choose. The best place to start is by learning about the breed or breeds you plan to incubate. We have added some basic incubation instructions for different breeds that can help you get an idea of what requirements your breed may have.
Tabletop Incubator Considerations
When it comes down to it, there are three things to take into consideration when selecting your tabletop egg incubator. These are the features of the incubator, the construction and materials it is made from, and the needs of your breed.
With incubators, you pretty much get what you pay for. Less expensive incubators typically come with fewer features and lower quality materials. More expensive incubators come with more features and better materials. Some of the features you may want to consider are digital temperature controls, humidity pumps, and even USB connections for charting incubation factors and process. One of our favorite choices is the ReptiPro 6000. It has a very sleek and unique exterior as well as digital thermostat controls, a cool-blue light for the interior, a large picture window, and a constantly running fan for better temperature distribution. It is a great value for any breeder who wants something a little more high-tech without breaking the bank.
There are two main materials that tabletop incubators are made out of: plastic and styrofoam. While styrofoam incubators don't tend to last as long as plastic incubators, they are typically a better value when it comes to price versus egg capacity. GQF MFG carries a full line of styrofoam tabletop incubators that are reasonably priced and have a variety of different features and options. Most other manufacturers offer molded plastic incubators that will last longer, and typically also come with a higher price tag.
Tabletop incubators can hold between 3-50 eggs, and come in a variety of sizes in between. Based on the size of your eggs and the quantity you hope to incubate, you may be able to eliminate some choices immediately. For example, if you only want to incubate a very small number of eggs, then you may want to choose an R-Com Mini Incubator or a Brinsea Mini Advance. These are also great choices for exotic birds as they will give you high control without taking up an uneccesary amount of space. If you are looking to incubate a larger number of eggs, you may want to go with a Hova-Bator Incubator with Turner. There are a variety of sizes of turners available for most egg types, and these units can hold up to 50 chicken eggs without a turner.
Whatever incubator you decide, or if you need help deciding, we are here to help. You can contact us at anytime by calling (800)259-9755.