One question I get a lot is “What is the difference between the GQF Cabinet Incubators?” I have answered it so many times, that I feel a blog post on this topic could be beneficial to other shoppers who are interested in these items. So, here it is- GQF Cabinet Incubators Explained!

GQF offers 4 different cabinet incubator models currently in production with variations between them. They have two “all in one” incubators, 1 incubator only, and 1 hatcher only. All of them use many of the same components like the outer housing, humidity tray, doors, and more.  So let’s break this down by type and model number to give you a clear understanding of the features and intended use of each model.


All In One Units

There are 2 all in one units that have slightly different controls, but are intended to be used the same way. Both are designed for a rotational hatch. This means that on your first day, you will set tray 1. The next week you set tray 2, and the third week you set tray 3. On Day 18 you will move your top tray (oldest) eggs down into the integrated hatching tray. There will naturally be a higher humidity since this is located in the bottom of the incubator and the heavier air tends to sink down. This gives you a week between the time you move your eggs to the hatcher before the second set is ready to go down. This should be sufficient time to hatch all of your eggs and do any cleaning necessary to prepare for the next set. Here is an example of how a schedule of that would look:

Day 1

Set First Tray

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Set Second Tray

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Set Third Tray

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Move First Tray to Hatcher

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Set First Tray

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Move Second Tray to Hatcher

Day 26

Day 27

Day 28

Day 29

Set Second Tray

Day 30

Day 31

Day 32

Move Third Tray To Hatcher

Day 33

Day 34

Day 35

Day 36

Set Third Tray

Day 37

Day 38

Day 39

Move First Tray To Hatcher

Day 40

Day 41

Day 42

As we mentioned before, there are 2 different types of All in One Incubators. These cabinet incubators both have 3 levels of incubating with an integrating hatching tray at the bottom. However, the difference between these models is the way the temperature is controlled.

GQF MFG Classic Sportsman Cabinet Incubator 1202E- This is the base model for the cabinet incubators. It is an All in One Style Unit that includes the integrated hatching tray. This model features manual controls. It comes with a liquid in glass style thermometer that is inserted into the incubator through a grommet on the side. This temperature read out will let you know if you need to adjust the temperature dial to regulate your temperature inside the incubator.  

GQF MFG Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator 1502- This cabinet incubator is the digital all in one model. That means that it not only includes an integrated hatching tray, but also has full digital controls. While giving you a digital temperature and humidity readout, it also allows you to adjust the temperature with the press of a button. In addition to this, you have functionality for managing your egg turners as well, all included on the digital control panel.

Choosing an All in One Model

Determining which all in one model is right for you really comes down to your experience level and budget. The reason people choose the 1202 cabinet incubator is because it is less expensive and they are comfortable using the manual controls. Others find that they trust the technology of the digital controls more, and find them simpler to use, and thus spring for the more expensive digital model. The only difference between the machines is the temperature control mechanism and the price, so pick the one that best suits your budget and comfort level.

Reliant Units

The next two units we refer to as reliant, because neither one can do the job entirely by itself, like you can with the all in one units. However, there are benefits to using individual machines for incubating and hatching. One is production. By having a separate incubator and hatcher, this means that you can hatch the entire contents of an incubator at once, instead of using the cyclical approach. This greatly increases your capacity. If you plan on growing your operation, then this would be the way to go. As with all commercial incubators for sale, it is important to understand how these units work together.

GQF MFG Professional Cabinet Incubator 1500- This is the incubator half of this hatching equation. Similar to the 1502, it has all of the same digital controls, exterior box, and 3 turning racks. However, this incubator does not include the integrated hatching tray. This means that your turning racks have more spacing between them, allowing you better to access to individual eggs within the incubator. This is where the process begins. For chicken egg incubation, the eggs would first be placed into the 1500 for 18 days, with the turning mechanism activated. On the 18th day, those eggs should be moved over to the hatcher for the final step.

 GQF MFG Professional Hatcher 1550- This is the hatcher component of this incubation system. One 1550 hatcher can be used with up to 3 of the cabinet incubators for maximum production. This hatcher also includes the same digital controls as the 1502 and 1500, but differs in the arrangement of shelves inside. There is no turning mechanism included in the hatcher, mainly because eggs are not supposed to be turned during the hatching phase, which is typically a period of about 3 days. During hatching, while your temperature typically stays the same, you will want to bump up your humidity a bit. This can be done by adding evaporating pads into your humidity tray, located at the top of the hatcher. Remember to keep an eye on this, as the eggs themselves will release additional humidity as they hatch. All of your eggs will most likely not hatch at exactly the same time, so by monitoring the humidity, you can ensure that the eggs that hatch last will have just as good a chance of hatching as those that hatched first.

Planning on Incubating Reptile Eggs?

The GQF MFG Professional Hatcher 1550 can also work as a reptile incubator. Since reptile eggs do not require turning during incubation and hatching, this unit is ideal. Many reptile eggs also require lower temperatures than bird eggs, and the temperature of this hatcher can be set as low as 65 degrees F, however the exterior room temperature must be maintained about 10 degrees below your desired incubation temp for the heating mechanism to work properly. However, the capacity of this unit greatly exceeds that of any commercial reptile incubator for sale currently on the market.

Completing your Setup

Once you have the basics, it is time to accessorize! Accessories can be used by any of the incubators, and include things like casters, clear door, egg trays, and water reserve buckets. None of these components are necessary for use, although I do highly recommend purchasing the egg trays in the proper size for your incubation project. These are designed to fit within the incubator, and will give you maximum capacity. The others are added extras that can enhance your incubation experience, but will not drastically alter your results. Most people choose to add the egg trays to their setup, and usually one other accessory like the clear door or water reserve system to increase their visibility or maximize their efficiency. Choose as many or as few extras as you would like, and come back and get the rest later!

I hope that this has helped to explain the different models of the GQF MFG Cabinet Incubator lineup. We would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have, just reach out to us toll-free at (844) 900-0872 for further consultation.