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Incubator with escape box for chicks.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

In the past, I have hatched a lot of chicks and I usually have problem that hatched chicks playing soccer with unhatched eggs. To prevent this to happen, I usually open the incubator or hatcher to get the chicks out. This cause problem to chicks which were not fully fluffed up were really weak. Sometimes they died in the brooder with so many chicks. Some couldn't hatch because of lack humidity and the membrane stuck to their feather. Sometimes, I could not stop myself opening the incubator, I think you know what I mean. To solve this problem, I made a way for hatched chicks to drop down the tray beneath the egg trays. I also made a door on the side and provide light there to invite hatched chicks to go to the escape door into the temporary brooder. We then can open the door of that temporary brooder which I called escape box and put the chicks into the main brooder when they all fluffed up. This way will help to maintain humidity level in the incubator / hatcher for most if not all eggs to hatch and will increase the chance of hatching. I hope this idea will help some of you when design your incubator.

 

700

This incubator designed to fit the GQF trays. At first, I tried 2 computer fans and later on changed to 3 but the air flow was not enough, so I put a larger fan in so the shape of the incubator is weird.

 

400

These are the fans that I have tried.

 

700

This is separate water door so we don't need to open the whole incubator to fill water.

 

700

This is escape box for the chicks to stay before moving to brooder

post #2 of 22

Very wise idea!

MY HENS: 1 rhode island red, 2 Silkie rhode island red, 1 Polish coshin mix, 2 polish/? mix,1 blue silkie, 1 d`anver, 1 sex link, 1 polish, 2 polish/blue silkie mix, MY ROOSTERS: 1 silkie/polish, 3 polish/coshin mix, 1 bantam mix.  

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MY HENS: 1 rhode island red, 2 Silkie rhode island red, 1 Polish coshin mix, 2 polish/? mix,1 blue silkie, 1 d`anver, 1 sex link, 1 polish, 2 polish/blue silkie mix, MY ROOSTERS: 1 silkie/polish, 3 polish/coshin mix, 1 bantam mix.  

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post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

9 chicks hatched, 8 are in the bottom tray, none of them escapes thru the door yet. Will update later today.


Edited by Quyen Le - 12/4/12 at 8:57am
post #4 of 22
Cute idea!

I have: 2 leopard geckos, 1 ball python, 6 white mice, and incubator full of eggs, 1 Pomeranian, 3 cats, 3 Plymouth barred rock hens, 3 brown leghorn hens, 1 brown leghorn rooster, 2 black crested black polish bantam hens, 1 black crested black polish bantam rooster, 1 partridge silkie hen, 2 white silkie cockerels, a pair of breeding black-tailed buff Japanese bantams, 1 grey pearl guinea...

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I have: 2 leopard geckos, 1 ball python, 6 white mice, and incubator full of eggs, 1 Pomeranian, 3 cats, 3 Plymouth barred rock hens, 3 brown leghorn hens, 1 brown leghorn rooster, 2 black crested black polish bantam hens, 1 black crested black polish bantam rooster, 1 partridge silkie hen, 2 white silkie cockerels, a pair of breeding black-tailed buff Japanese bantams, 1 grey pearl guinea...

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post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 

I got well over 50 chicks hatched. They start getting into the escape box. All the chicks that can go there are ready for brooder.

post #6 of 22

How does it work? How do the chicks "drop down the tray beneath the egg trays". Couldnt they kick eggs down too? Does the brood box hold the same temps as the incubator and does it stay steady? Have you found that eggs being kicked around effects their hatching? Thanks

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

I put 40W light bulb on top of the escape box to keep it warm enough for the hatched chicks. I put the eggs in a plastic egg trays that can hold 30 eggs each, so when the chicks hatched, they just craw on top of the unhatched eggs. I built this incubator with gap on the side and front of the trays so chicks can jump down when hatched. I have lost chicks when they were kicked around before, even after they half way unzipping. Around day 7, when I candled and put the eggs back in, I dropped the thermometer from top of the incubator and cracked 2 eggs, 1 was really bad, 1 is a little better. I use hot glue and plastic to cover those cracks. I put them back thinking, well, I try to see what will happen. 1 of those eggs hatched today, a big surprise for me.

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Average humidity is 45-50%. During the first 2 weeks of incubation, humidity was OK but the third week, I have problem keeping the humidity up. I tried my beast to have 45-50% humidity. I put some hot water in to raise humidity whenever I am around and it goes up to 60% and after 15-20 minutes, it drops down to 50%. It seems to hatch OK. I have more than half of my eggs hatched. Some deformed. 1 with a bump on the head, 1 with toes stick together. They arestill in the incubator, so I don't have close look on them yet. Will update later.

post #9 of 22
Cool idea you got there!
post #10 of 22

Nice! Maybe you can take a picture when you open the front door next. Like to see the inside.

4 leghorns, 1 EE, 1 cochin roo, 10 cochin/leghorn cross pullets, 23 chicks, 4 mini horses, 3 pygmy goats, 1 McNab, 1 budgie, 2 frogs and 2 mallards
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4 leghorns, 1 EE, 1 cochin roo, 10 cochin/leghorn cross pullets, 23 chicks, 4 mini horses, 3 pygmy goats, 1 McNab, 1 budgie, 2 frogs and 2 mallards
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