BackYard Chickens › Chicken Coop Plans › Gopherboy Farms - The Gopherbator Egg Incubator

Gopherboy Farms - The Gopherbator Egg Incubator

GopherBoy Farms





 Mesh wire


 Water heater thermostat


 Plug with about 2-3 ft wire


 Light fixture


 40-watt light bulb


 PC fan


 12 Volt transformer


 2-3 feet of PVC pipe


 2 pipe couplings


 2, ½ inch plastic clamps


 Wooden Box 
 Shallow pan


 A couple sponges


 Thermometer/hydrometer w/probe


 Water wiggler


Water bottle  Tubing that fits on top of bottle




 2 old pill bottles 
 Various screws


 Wire Nuts
 A Sharpie pen  

1.  Cut square in lid for viewing window                                           2.use caulking around cut out area to seal glass viewing window           

3.       Install glass




4.     Locate and drill 6 hole in cooler                                         1 hole for auto water (no need to open lid)
         2 vent holes                                                                      1 small hole for wires
         2 hole across from each other for   exterior operated egg turner                                


  5.     Place pan with sponges in bottom of cooler
              (we used caulking to hold pan in place)



6. Cut and bend wire to fit into the bottom of cooler over pan                  7.     Cut hole in wire for auto water tube   


8.     place wire into cooler                                                            9.  put tubing w/ water bottle attached through hole in cooler, 

                                                                                                              then through hole in wire into pan for auto water      


10.     Cut out bottom of wooden box that fits in cooler                11.     cut piece of wire and staple to bottom of box                 


12. attach ½ inch plastic clamps to bottom of box           


 13. set box on wire with plastic pipe clamps lined up with the predrilled holes
14.slide pipe through one side of cooler then threw both pipe clamps, then threw the hole on other side of cooler

 15.    Cut pipe to ¾ inch on both sides of cooler for handles for externally turning the eggs.
16.    Install couplings on each end of pipe to keep pipe from slipping, back and forth and to use as handles when turning eggs.         
           17.    Screw box to handle inside




18.    take an egg carton that fits in box and cut holes in bottom                             19.    place egg carton in box                                   


20.    cut spacers in tubing (or use nuts for spacers) to keep PC fan and thermostat away from wall

 21.    Screw PC fan to wall




22.   Wire PC fan, light, and thermostat
                 *from the plug take the neutral (ribbed) wire to #1 screw on the thermostat
                 * run a short wire from #2 srew on thermostat to the silver screw on the light
                * The other plug wire goes to the gold screw on the light.
                   PC FAN:
               *cut the end of a 12volt transformer off, wire to the black and red wire on PC fan, disregaurd the yellow wire.
                           (if you plug it in and the fan doesnt turn then switch the wires around)

23.    Install thermostat using spacers and screws to wall
24.    Install light

25. Cut the bottom off 2 pill bottles (with lids) and slide into holes for air vents
(these work great so you can just unscrew the lids if you need to).

a grinder was used to cut the bottoms of the pill bottles off



                                           26.    place probe from thermometer/hydrometer  inside wiggler toy  

                                          27.    sit wiggler toy on egg holder
                                 28.    put 2nd thermometer on wire
                                 29.    fill pan with water
                                 30.    adjust thermostat


                                         31. fill 4-5 baby food jars with warm water put on lids and place on wire
                                            32.    plug in, close lid

                                                 now lets see what happens next........


So far in the Gopher-Bator we have hatched (and they have lived) 9 chicks... (there where some duds in this first batch)

we have 11 in it now and hope this will be our best hatch ever!!!


Comments (12)

awesome set up, I love it, thanks for sharing this with me. Now I go make some modification to my cooler bator and see if it works for me.
cool i might try this
wow! I love this! What was your hatch rate?
What is the baby rattle & jars of water for? You said leave the lids on the jars so it doesn't appear to be humidity...
Thank you for sharing your design and step by step assembly, this was very helpful for me to start my project,
Thanks for taking the time do post this! Great ideas and one I'm thinking of using.
i was able to complete my project thanks to you
I am using your info to revamp the bator my husband made as a 4-H Project many years ago, It needs a new thermostat.
I'm thinking the baby food jars would be for temperature stability. The water would hold the heat, making temp. fluctuate less. Just my guess.
Instead of baby food jars, I use the plastic cooler/heating blocks that you put in a picnic cooler instead, they seem to hold temperature more stable. I have just built another bator using an old bedside cabinet, just waiting to see if temperature stabilises good enough to put eggs in next week.
Best instructions I've seen.  I'm going to convince hubby to make this for me!
Thanks for explaining the jars.
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