Breeding reptiles takes a lot of work, but it can be an enormously rewarding experience for adults and children. Witnessing and partaking in the great circle of life is not only highly educational, but a powerful way to emotionally connect with the animals we share this planet with.
However, breeding is a major investment of time, money, and energy. Providing your reptiles with a mate and a safe environment for pregnancy, maintaining the reptiles’ home, and managing an ample food supply for the parents and the babies are all going to cost a significant amount of money.
The time it takes to raise reptilian babies and to care for their parents can be quite consuming. This makes a lot of sense; if you choose to breed, you are placing lots of scaly lives in your hands. Reptile eggs aren’t toys; they’re organic carapaces containing living beings. And this is why purchasing an excellent reptilian incubator for poultry or exotic reptiles is so important.
Most incubators on the market are absolutely worthless. They aren’t reliable, and when dealing with something as sensitive as the preservation of life, that is a huge problem. I’ve taken a close look at only the best reptile incubators currently available, and I’ve gathered the results here for your convenience.
This guide will help you find the best reptile incubator for your reptilian-loving family. First, I will explain the most important criteria you should consider when seeking the best reptile incubator, then I will give an overview of the three best reptile incubators on the market today, and, finally, I will leave you with my concluding recommendations.
Let’s begin by evaluating the four most critical criteria you should deliberate when considering the purchase of a reptile incubator.
Criteria For a Great Incubator
The following criteria are the most important that you should consider when searching among the best reptile incubators for the perfect purchase. Remember, there aren’t a lot of great products out there, so it’s essential that you do your research. Reptile lives depend on it.
Breed—Every reptilian breed has different incubating requirements. For example, python eggs require an incubation temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of 90%, while bearded dragon eggs require a constant temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of about 75%. Even slight variations in these numbers can result in killing the eggs, so it is critical that you carefully research your breed and your incubator before beginning the process to ensure that the incubator can accommodate your reptilian eggs’ needs.
Temperature and Humidity—Reptilian eggs require a certain temperature and humidity level in order to properly incubate. The incubator you purchase should be able to mimic a natural environment without substantial variation. If you cannot rely on the temperature and humidity levels to stay consistent, you should not purchase the incubator because shifts in temperature and humidity will leave you with heartbreaking results.
Thermostat Accuracy—This goes hand in hand with temperature and humidity. In order to guarantee consistent temperature, you must be able to trust the thermostat that comes with the incubator. This breeder had the tragic experience of losing hundreds of lizard eggs because the thermostat had failed over night, and the temperature had risen to a fatal degree.
Size—An incubator that is too small can be very limiting, but a large incubator comes with certain risks. If you put all of your eggs in one incubator and something goes wrong, the loss is total and crushing. The safest bet is probably to have more than one small to medium-sized incubator.
Remember, so many of the incubators being sold today are not safe to buy for your reptiles, and because these products are meant to nurture life, it is so important that you find an incubator that meet these criteria. Here are three products that, for the most part, do.
Little Giant 9300 Still Air Egg Incubator Kit for Reptiles
- Digital control board for easy temperature setting
- Built in digital hygrometer measures humidity
- Self-regulating temperature control helps maintain a consistent temperature
- LCD display with LED light shows accurate readings instantly
- Rust and warp resistant plastic screen for easy cleaning
- 41-120 egg capacity when used with Little Giant 6300 Egg Turner
- Housing made of recyclable and insulated polystyrene foam
The Little Giant 9300 Still Air Egg Incubator Kit for Reptiles, specifically designed for reptile eggs, comes with a built-in digital, LCD thermostat reading both temperature and humidity levels and built-in moisture rings that enable breeders to easily add water to maintain optimum humidity. The incubator uses thermal air flow, drawing fresh air in through the bottom vent and out through exhaust vents located at the top of the incubator. The incubator’s two 4” x 8” windows give the breeder easy viewing access while the high sidewalls keep the reptiles safely inside of the unit when the lid is removed.
Pros and Cons
How does the Little Giant 9300 stand against the criteria? Let’s take a closer look.
Breed—Because the Little Giant comes with an adjustable thermostat and humidity rings, it can accommodate most breeds quite easily.
Temperature and Humidity—The Little Giant includes moisture rings, which allow breeders to easily introduce water to maintain proper humidity. Customers said that the temperature remained relatively consistent with a variation of +/- four degrees.
Thermostat Accuracy—The digital thermostat is easy to read and uses reliable technology. Breeders can trust that the thermostat will remain consistent.
Size—This is not a huge incubator, but remember, that’s okay. Putting too many eggs in ”one basket” is a huge risk. Depending on the breed, this incubator can accommodate a variety of clutch sizes.
Breeders of small reptiles can trust the Little Giant 9300 to maintain consistent temperature and humidity for their reptiles for an affordable price.
The incubator does not come with a fan, so the circulation is not the best. Additionally, it is not large enough to accommodate an entire clutch of every breed.
G.Q.F. Manufacturing 1602N Hova-Bator Incubator
- Wafer thermostat you can trust
- Polystyrene case
- Built-in humidity channels and plastic sanitation liner
- Includes bulb thermometer
- Two 4” x 6” viewing windows at the top of the incubator
- Rubber coated mesh floor
G.Q.F Manufacturing Co. boasts the Hova-Bator Incubator as the best and most economical small incubator around. The Hova-Bator uses thermal air flow, allowing the radiant heat to warm the eggs and air inside of the unit. The bottom vent brings in fresh air that flows out of the exhaust vents located at the top of the incubator. Two windows on the top of the incubator provide easy viewing access.
Pros and Cons
Does the Hova-Bator meet the most important criteria? Let’s find out.
Breed—While the company advertises this for poultry use, customers indicated using this for a range of reptiles demonstrating the incubator’s versatility.
Temperature and Humidity—Customers complained the most about this. The temperature does not self-regulate, so it requires quite a bit of adjustment and monitoring on your end. If you are willing to invest that time, then the incubator will, with your attention, keep a consistent temperature.
Thermostat Accuracy—The thermostat was hit or miss with some customers. Most customers were satisfied with the thermostat’s ability to maintain a consistent temperature, but some complained that it shifted if the house temperature fluctuated at all.
Size—This is a small incubator, so it will not be able to hold full clutches for every breed.
The Hova-Bator has a solid reputation and has been around for years. Most customers indicated successful hatching of a variety of reptiles after following the incubator’s instructions.
This is a small incubator, so it will not able to hold an entire clutch depending on the breed. The incubator requires a lot of monitoring and adjusting in order to maintain a consistent temperature, especially if the temperature in the home fluctuates. Some customers complained that the price was excessive given the simplicity of the materials. Finally, the incubator does not have the best circulation as it does not include a fan.
Zoo Med Reptibator Egg Incubator
- Digital controller with LCD display and LED indicator light
- Pulse proportional thermostat for stable temperature regulation
- Temperature control range from 59 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Humidity display range from 10% to 95% relative humidity
- Rigid 55 watt heating element Programmable temperature alarm
- Built in memory stores settings in case of power failure
- Clear cover for easy egg inspection without disturbing environment
- Multiple water reservoirs molded into incubator base and incorporating flow through ventilation and sponge insert for even evaporation and optimum humidity
The Reptibator Digital Egg Incubator includes features meant to give the breeder freedom and the eggs the ideal environment. The Reptibator comes with a programmable temperature alarm, built in memory stores to compensate power loss, a clear cover for easy egg monitoring, a flow-through ventilation system with a sponge insert meant to allow even evaporation and the best humidity levels for your breed.
Pros and Cons
Let’s evaluate the Reptibator Digital Egg Incubator against the most important criteria.
Breed—The Reptibator offers wide temperature and humidity ranges, making it an excellent option for breeders of any reptilian species.
Temperature and Humidity— The customer reviews for this criterion was a mixed bag. Most customers agreed that the right temperature and humidity could be maintained given certain conditions. One, customers complained that the lid was placed a bit too lightly to keep in the heat and humidity, but adding a layer of insulation around the lid solved that issue. Two, some customers mentioned water spilling out of the bottom of the incubator, so they opted to use water trays instead.
Thermostat Accuracy—Despite the many positive reviews that this incubator received, almost every customer mentioned a slightly inaccurate temperature reading. The Reptibator’s heating element is located at the top of the incubator which is where the thermostat is located. Consequently, customers found that the temperature reading could be as much as 6 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the actual temperature since the heat did not travel all the way to the bottom of the incubator. Customers solved this issue by using an additional thermometer closer to the eggs and adjusting the thermostat to accommodate the temperature difference. For example, one customer kept the thermostat at 95 degrees in order to make sure her eggs were actually incubated at 89 degrees.
Size—Most customers seemed pleased with the size of the Reptibator. One customer breeding ball python eggs was able to fit an entire clutch in the unit. Of course, depending on the breed, you may be able to fit more or less eggs.
For an afforfable price, the Reptibator Digital Egg Incubator self-regulates the temperature for the breeder’s convenience and provides ample space for most breeds.
Given its proximity to the heating element, the thermostat is not extremely accurate, and, unless the breeder finds a way to work around this issue, can lead unsuspecting breeders to keep their eggs incubated at fatally low temperatures.
Searching for best reptile incubator can be difficult when there aren’t a lot of options available to consumers. In this guide, I describe the three best reptile incubators out there today.
Given its wide temperature range, space, and ability to self-regulate, the Reptibator Digital Egg Incubator is the best option for someone who is interested in hatching multiple breeds. However, it is important for you to remember that the thermostat will read a higher temperature than the actual temperature of the eggs since it is placed so closely to the heating element.
If you are interested in breeding, but will not be able to constantly monitor your eggs, the Little Giant 9300 Still Air Incubator Kit for Reptiles may be your best bet. This incubator’s self-regulating feature and reliable thermostat make it an option the busier breeder can rely on.
If you want an incubator with an established reputation for an affordable price, the G.Q.F. Manufacturing 1602N Hova-Bator Incubator is the best reptile incubator for you. This manufacturer has been around for three decades, and while it does not have very fancy features, customers continue to return to this product and praise its economic utility.
As long as you pay careful attention to instructions and monitor your eggs closely, all three of these incubators can produce successful hatches.
If you know what your breed requires for its eggs to thrive, and if you are willing to invest time and money into your reptiles, soon after you make this important purchase, you will experience the joy of bringing life into this world.