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Incubator Terminology Explained

Below is a quick guide on the terminology that is used in the incubator industry. If you have any further questions, feel free to Contact Us! 

What is an egg incubator?
An egg incubator is a machine that creates the perfect conditions for an egg to incubate and hatch successfully. An egg incubator is designed to regulate incubation temperature and humidity at perfect levels. It recreates the role that the broody hen plays in nature. 

Why use an incubator to hatch eggs?
Incubators can hatch more eggs at a time and is a lot more reliable than the hen. If you let the hen hatch eggs then she will stop laying eggs for the time that she sits on the eggs and rear her offspring. This means that you are loosing many potential chicks that you could've hatched in the incubator. If you continue removing eggs from the hens nest then she will continue laying eggs that you can hatch in the incubator. A hen can hatch about 20 to 30 chicks per year. If you use the same hen to rather lay eggs and hatch in our incubator, you can get up to 300 chicks per year from the same hen! That's a 1000% increase in efficiency!  

​What does an egg incubator do?
An egg incubator creates a stable environment in which eggs can be hatched. When incubating eggs under a broody hen there are external threats such as wild animals that may harm the hen or the eggs. By placing the eggs in an egg incubator you are more guaranteed that the conditions will remain consistent over the 21 day incubation period (For chicken eggs). A Surehatch egg incubator basically takes the guesswork out of incubation and increases the chances that you will get a good hatch rate.

What is a setter incubator?
For the first 18 days of the eggs incubation period eggs must be placed in the setter (This is for chicken eggs, other egg types have other setting periods). Eggs are turned by the incubator every hour in the setter. After the setting period eggs are physically moved to the hatcher, where they will hatch on day 21/22. 

What is a hatcher?
The hatcher is the part of the incubator where the eggs lay still for the last 3 days the incubation cycle (In the case of chickens eggs). Generally the humidity and airflow is slightly higher at this part of the incubator due to the fact that eggs require a higher humidity towards the hatching phase. The hatcher creates a stable environment for the eggs to hatch in. No turning of the eggs happens during this phase. The chick inside the eggs aligns itself so that it can peck its way out of the shell. Surehatch have designed unique hatching crates that allow for maximum airflow and humidity in this part of the incubator. Our hatching crates are manufactured form high density materials in order to preserve its durability. Unlike our competitions, our hatching crates can be removed and sanitized outside of the incubator.

What is a combo incubator/hatcher?
A combo incubator is an incubator that combines both the setting and hatching phase. Surehatch is the market leader in combination egg incubators. We have unique designs which incorporate both a setter and hatcher in a single unit. Combo units work well when incubating and hatching smaller quantities of eggs. At a certain production level it becomes better to make use of separate setters and hatchers.

What are other names or terms for an egg incubator?
There are several other terms and names for egg incubators. Although Surehatch has become synonymous with incubators, there are other terms for incubators as well. Many breeders refer to incubators as breeding machines, hatching machines, hatchers, setters, artificial incubation equipment, hatcheries, egg breeding equipment, egg hatching equipment, brutgerate, brutmaschinen, broeimasjiene, broeikaste, eier broeiers, aanbroeiers, voorbroeiers, uitbroeiers, kunsmoeders, incu bators, bators, hovabators, GQF Sportsman.
Remember, if it doesn’t say Surehatch, it’s not an original egg incubator!