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Incubator Loan Program

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Newborn chick in an incubator.

Interested in hatching your own chicks at home, but don’t have an incubator, or don’t want to invest in an incubator right now? Makes sense, most incubator models cost between $100-$1,200, averaging around $200 for a decent incubator setup. Store-bought incubators typically see hatch rates around 70% provided that egg sourcing provides clean, fertile eggs; and the incubation process goes according to plan without much user error.

You may be able to make your own at home, but it’s not recommended. We don’t have any solid research that this is an effective way to hatch chicks. The extension articles on the web that reference do-it-yourself incubators caution that your hatch rates will be anywhere from 0-30%.

Loaning an incubator from the Haywood County Extension Office is a great way economically to hatch your own eggs! We offer incubator loans year-round for a nominal fee of $10 per 1-month loan period.

Egg Sourcing for the Incubator Loan Program

You need to supply your own eggs for hatching, which can be from your own flock, a friend/neighbor’s flock, or a commercial hatchery that mails you eggs. There is a list provided by our office of online hatcheries that do mail orders. It is critical that if you are using eggs supplied locally, you do fertility testing on eggs to make sure you are incubating fertile eggs.

Incubator Loan Program – Information

***Please note that our Incubator Loan Program will start June 1st, 2023!***

There’s a three-step process to loaning out an incubator and egg turner from the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Haywood County Center.

  1. Fill out an application and return it to the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Haywood County Center either in person, by email to, or by mail to 589 Raccoon Rd., Suite 118; Waynesville, NC 28786 — ***Applications are available for pick-up at the office!***
  2. Pay the $10 fee and complete a short orientation on using the incubator and hatching eggs. Incubators and egg turners are loaned out for a 1-month period. If you are hatching a species other than chickens (i.e. turkeys, ducks, quail); the loan period is 6 weeks and a $15 fee.
  3. After your hatch is complete, clean your incubator and egg turner. Return it to the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Haywood County Center by the due date, or incur a $ 5-a-day late fee.