Dandies Handy Hatching Emporium
This non-working commercial refrigerator had a price I could not argue with... FREE! All I had to do was bring the trailer and they even loaded it. This definitely proves that one man's junk is another's treasure. Not pictured is the original glass doors. One is filled with condensation. I plan to fix it but that will be a later project. Right now I NEED a reliable bator and I can deal that issue later. My dreams include multiple shelves of egg turners with a little hatching nursery on the top shelf. My little fuzzy butts will begin their lives in a luxurious condo in the sky.
It is large enough to handle any size egg from any of the poultry that I can think of. This is where it will earn it's name of "Dandies Handy Hatching Emporium". It's a true hatching emporium in the sense that a wide variety eggs may be incubated with varying temperatures, sizes and colors. I do realize the colors have nothing to do with it.
I can't believe that it actually works! And, it's really looking nice.
MY FIRST JOURNEY IN MAKING AN INCUBATOR
Final working prototype homemade depression era thermostat unit:
I used a common vegetable can with each end removed to make a sleeve to go around the bulb. I mounted a water heater thermostat on this so the heat would be effectively measured much as it would on a water tank. The cord goes through a hole I drilled in the bottom of the refrigerator so no wires are running in the bator compartment. I put the little angle bracket on can to keep the unit from toppling over. I then added a plastic guard to keep anyone from accidentally touching the two potentially dangerous screws per repeated suggestions from my anal boyfriend. Oops! He's looking over my shoulder. I meant very responsible and wise boyfriend. Additionally, I rotate the unit around to where it is out of sight while the bator is in use. I have found that this guard along with the can mounted thermostat keeps the temperature extremely accurate +/- 1 degree. If you remove the guard, it will vary a little more.
Picture of guard in place:
I used 2 short extension cords to make the wiring harness for the brain of my creation. I cut the ends off of the first extension cord. One end is wired to the thermostat. On the second extension cord, I cut only the wire leading to the smaller side of the plug. I wired in the other end of the first extension cord. This is shown on the picture as the T&P Splice. These two cords combine to make the wiring harness. The 3 plug end gives the possibility of three lights to heat the incubator. I used two lamp kits to install the two heat lamps. I simply plugged each light into the wiring harness.
Next, I added a double fan window unit in the top of the incubator. I had this hid under my bed for summertime use. So, now this is a forced air bator.
Picture of happy eggs enjoying their infrared bath:
Project Total Cost: $26.14
Commercial Refrigerator - FREE
Water Heater Thermostat - $8.48
Lights - $12.96
Paint - $2.76
2 Extension Cords - $1.94
Note: The other items I found laying around the house.
THOUGHTS PONDERED & LESSONS LEARNED Originally, I was using a dual 60 watt bulb system. The area proved to be too much for the little light bulbs to warm. I had to use heat lamps to effectively get the desired temperature.
I added thermometers on each shelf to monitor for a consistent temperature through out the incubator.
I found the forced air fan should be on constant.
I have it stripped of all the previous refrigerator equipment now. It's much lighter in weight.
I have a 3 plug cord wired to the thermostat so I can have up to 3 lights for heat. I feel like I did pretty good considering I got it right the first time. I did the happy chick dance. (If you need a visual, go to my intermission page.) My bator brains are a little different than most. It came out really neat & flexible.
Each shelf (total of 3) can hold up to 3 egg turners. Wow, that is a possible of 9 egg turners. Can you imagine the potential?
*** BEFORE PICTURE ***