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Weird Experimental Contact Incubator, The Electric Hen!!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have noticed how well my hens incubate and hatch their eggs and have wished I could have the same success in an incubator. It may be because I live in a humid area, but I have a hard time getting eggs to loose enough moisture during incubation.

I thought it would be cool to make an incubator that mimicked a broody hen and sat on top of the eggs. I tried to research contact incubators and only found one by Brinsea that costs thousands of dollars. Yikes! I thought about making the contact portion inside a box, like Brinsea but then came up with this design to make for a very large broody that might be able to hatch larger eggs.

I started some eggs under this incubator a couple months ago but had to borrow the thermostat to hatch my emu eggs in another incubator, so I finished those eggs in a different incubator and they did all hatch which was impressive for my Serama eggs.

I have made all of my incubators, a few in styrofoam coolers and a cabinet incubator. I think it is almost as fun to make incubators as it is to hatch eggs. I cut down the tiny cooler I used as my very first incubator and put it inside a rubbery bag. It has two 40watt light bulbs on a thermostat that is atop the eggs, under the bag. I made a sort of armature out of pool noodles to to keep space over the eggs. Yes, I used what I had laying around, in true DIY fashion.

This will be my first attempt at a full incubation under the "Electric Hen", so wish me luck! I set 6 Silkie eggs under her this evening. I'll update with progress and plan to transfer the eggs to my hatcher at day 18.

Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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post #2 of 6

I actually like the idea of mimicking a broody hen. However, if I made such an experiment, I would buy a heat mat like this, temperature controller, make something nest like and place the mat directly on eggs. I would even put a giant hen toy on the top and make fun of the project all the time :D

 

Btw, these temperature controllers are good, I used one this spring for two incubation periods and very happy with it. No temp spikes or whatsoever.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selga View Post

I actually like the idea of mimicking a broody hen. However, if I made such an experiment, I would buy a heat mat like this, temperature controller, make something nest like and place the mat directly on eggs. I would even put a giant hen toy on the top and make fun of the project all the time big_smile.png

Btw, these temperature controllers are good, I used one this spring for two incubation periods and very happy with it. No temp spikes or whatsoever.


I have experimented a bit with the electric heating pads, though I haven't tried using one with a thermostat. I think my concern was that they would heat up and cool down slowly and I wouldn't be able to keep the temperature steady, but I suppose I'll have to try it sometime and find out.

I love these temperature controllers... I have 4 of them. I did have one malfunction this winter, but mostly they are excellent.
Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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post #4 of 6

I think, thermostat is a must, otherwise the eggs could overheat very easily. I am not sure, have not tried, but I think thermostat would take care of keeping the temp quite steady. If you have a heating pad and thermostat at hand, you can check this right away.

 

Actually I can't imagine why they wouldn't develop and hatch if the temp is correct.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am hoping they will hatch better than those in the incubator, in a sense taking care of my problem of excess humidity.
Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
My eggs are on day 8! I had one clear but the other 5 are developing nicely!
Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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Silkie Chickens * Serama Chickens * Ancona Ducks
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