I noticed on the Incubating and Hatching Eggs forum that several threads were about Homemade incubators and issues people were having. So here's what I thought of: why not start a forum on home made incubators, for what we do right and what we do wrong. Some of us(like myself) know very little when it comes to building a good incubator cheaply and efficiently.
But here's what I think I know~
When building an incbator, our standards must meet several requirements; price of materials, max holding capacity, and hatch rate are what I think are the most important.
For the holding egg capacity, I prefer to set over 30 - 50 per hatch. And I almost always add eggs every week until it's full. Bad habit, but if you can move the eldest eggs into a hatcher for lockdown, you're perfectly fine. Right now I thing the more the better. My opinion will likely change later on. My hatch rates are always below 50%, because I never follow my own advice and the advice of others.
Price is my issue; I'm not about to buy a $700 incubator I'll use twice a year that'lltake me a month to fill up. And I don't have 700 bucks. I love GQF styrafoam incubators, but they don't last forever. An it's easy to damage the styrafoam(for me, anyways).
So, why not build your own? I'm sure plenty of us have an old computer or an old incubator they can get a hold of. Or a ceramic light fixture, they work surprisingly well if you position the light in the correct spot. If you have the ingredients(lol), (heat source, fan, and container) you can make an incubator!
If you want a 80-100% hatch rate, you'll definately have to do some research and buy a good thermostat that you can wire to your heat source. I'm going to figure out how to do that(eventually).
Here's my most recent creation! Made with an old model GQF turbo an incubator and a dresser. Almost as easy as it can get! The only tools you need are screws, a drill, and some different drill bits. And styrafoam tape~! It's simple. You can likely do it without reading anything.
Please correct me if I'm wrong in any of this information so I can correct it. I'd feel horrible for giving out false information. Am I confusing anyone?
Edit: June 1st, 2012.
The owner of this website posted below was kind eough to make an actual page on his website for this. It's my new-and-improved styrafoam medicine chest incubator. The only thing I bought was the 27 dollar thermostat.
It's currently up and running and I now have quail eggs in it due to hatch by Monday, and some before. It's the one with the duck eggs in it, which might I add have been 'cooking' for only two days and 16/21 are showing fertility! Four of the five are too small(from a younger duck I got in january). And I guess the last is a dud. Maybe I should show candling pictures later on...
Edited by kellyn - 6/1/12 at 8:10pm