Eco / Advance / EX incubators – What is the difference?

Author: Aussie Chook Supplies   Date Posted:1 February 2022 

The most common question that people have when reasearching Brinsea incubators is “What is the difference between them?” This article has been written to explain the functions and features of the different models and break it all down for you in plain English, making your decision a lot easier.

Why Choose Brinsea over other brands?

Brinsea are the market leaders in incubator research and design, with more than 40 years behind them. In comparison to the new designs popping up out of Asia every year, this longevity speaks highly of their dedication to users having a great hatching experience, with easy to use products and a high hatch rate at the end of it.

Brinsea back all of their electrical equipment (incubators, TLC / Intensive care units and chick brooder plates) with a 3 year warranty, which is the longest of any brands on the market. All units purchased from Aussie Chook Supplies come with the assurance that support will always be available from us via a couple of methods –

  • Joining the Brinsea Products Australia Facebook page, which has myself and the Exclusive Importer of Australian Brinsea Products as administrators of the group. Our Facebook page consists of a great community of Brinsea lovers who can always supply a fast answer to any questions you might have, or
  • via email on

Cars vs. Incubators??? Eh?

When I explain to customers over the phone to wrap their heads around the differences regarding these awesome incubators, I always compare them to cars.

If I was selling you a car from the Hyundai Tuscon range, it is readily understood that there is no difference between the top of the range vs the base model relating to how the body is made, the materials used for the engine and the type of wiring used for the electric components and motor construction. And for the sake of this comparison, the family of cars I am selling will all drive the same, have the same safety features and are of the same quality build.

What is different in cars is the extras – cloth vs leather seats, the music system, individual temp control vs. the whole car having the same temp blasted through the vents etc.

So regarding a Brinsea incubator, it’s the same concept/idea. From an Eco to an EX model, the motor and wiring, the fan, the design of the incubator base and lid, and the materials used across all components are all exactly the same. 

The differences between the models are essentially in four crucial functions –

  • Manual or automatic turning of the eggs

  • Temperature readout 

  • Humidity readout

  • How the water gets inside the machine

So talk to me about the Mini & Maxi Designs…

The 'Mini' incubator holds 7 – 10 standard hen eggs.
The '
Maxi' incubator holds 14 – 30 standard hen eggs.

Mini / Maxi Eco Incubators feature -

  • Manual turn only, allowing for more eggs to fit inside the incubator

  • Glass thermometer

  • No humidity readout

  • Manual adding of water every 2-3 days or as needed (from outside the incubator)

Mini / Maxi Advance Incubators feature -

  • Automatic turning of eggs

  • Digital temperature readout

  • No Humidity readout

  • Manual adding of water every 2-3 days or as needed (from outside the incubator)

  • Days countdown where the unit stops turning 3 days prior to end date that you set on the unit

Mini / Maxi EX Incubators feature -

  • Automatic turning of eggs

  • Digital temperature readout

  • Digital humidity readout

  • Pumps water into the incubator from an external water containter for accurate humidity control

Now talk to me about the 28 & 56 egg capacity incubators…

The 'Ovation 28' incubator holds approx. 28 standard hen eggs. It has an optional three tray large egg carrier for large duck/goose eggs or a greater number of quail or pheasant eggs.
The 'Ovation 56' incubator holds approx 56 standard hen eggs. It has an optional five tray large egg carrier for large duck/goose eggs or a greater number of quail or pheasant eggs.

28 / 56 Eco Incubators feature -

  • Automatic turning of eggs

  • Glass thermometer for temperature

  • No humidity readout

  • Manual adding of water into trough

28 / 56 Advance Incubators feature -

  • Automatic turning of eggs

  • Digital tempterature readout

  • Digital humidity readout

  • Manual adding of water ever 2-3 days or as needed

28 / 56 EX Incubators feature -

  •  Automatic turning of eggs

  • Digital temperature readout

  • Digital humidity readout

  • Pumps water into the unit for accurate humidity control

Would an Eco model suit my needs?

Eco models are a great no-frills unit for people starting off wanting a great quality incubator and are relaxed and trust the process and the equipment they have purchased through to experienced breeders who don’t need all the extra features of the Advance/EX models . You have complete trust in Brinsea’s design and are happy to tweak/set the temp at first use and top up the water as needed. You are also comfortable with not needing to know/check the humidity level inside the machine. For the smaller egg capacity units, you are happy to take the lid off and manually roll/turn the eggs a few times a day also.
Lots of breeders also use Eco models as a ‘hatcher’ unit and transfer eggs for the last few days of hatching to this unit. They add water as per instructions and let it work it’s magic, leaving the hatching mess out of their main incubators (and also free up space in their main incubators by doing it this way too.

Would an Advance model suit my needs?

This mid-level incubator has auto-turn for the eggs, which is a plus if you think turning eggs is daily hassle you don’t need. It has digital temperature and humidity, so you know what is happening inside the unit. The only ‘downside’ (if you can refer to it that way) is that you have to open the lid to add water every few days.

Would an EX model suit my needs?

The EX models suit everyones needs… lol
This is the top functionality of everything you could want in an incubator, as it was initially designed for hatching fertile parrot eggs and other exotic species. It is a great set and forget unit that so many people love, as you have full knowledge of what is happening inside and don’t need to add water manually at all.

All EX models have an attached external tube that you pop into a container of water (an empty soft drink or milk bottle are popular choices) and it will draw exactly the amount of water needed to maintain the humidity inside that you have set. Lots of duck breeders love this machine as some breeds need a higher level of humidity for incubation and hatching, which can be difficult to maintain in a cheaper incubator or in the drier areas of Australia.

So that’s it… hopefully all the information that you need to determine which Brinsea incubator suits your needs. If you have any other questions, please shoot me through an email on and I will do my best to help you out.

Happy Hatching.