$20 Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by AccidentalFarm, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    Well, I finally decided to make my own incubator after searching both locally and on the internet for one to buy. Locally, I had a choice of Little Giant or Hova Bator. I've heard both good and bad reviews on both models. I was going to go with the Hovabator, electric therm, fan, and turner and probably still will, but thought I'd try one myself first. It was actually kind of fun to build. I thought I'd share what I did with all of y'all.
    Here's what I bought:

    Styrofoam Ice Chest $1.57
    Digital Therm/Hygr $6.47
    Lamp Kit $5.97
    Dimmer $5.96

    Here's what I had:

    Metal Cooling Rack
    60 watt Bulb
    Meat Thermometer
    CD jewel case- clear part for viewing window
    "Air Wick" air freshener fan with air freshener removed - wired for electric
    Old Mobile Phone Charger

    So, I just assembled the lamp kit and dimmer and poked it through the side of the ice chest. I cut an opening in the top of the lid and used the clear cover from the cd jewel case taped on for a viewing window. I took the AirWick apart and removed the batteries and air freshener, cut the bad end off of the cell phone charger and wired it up. It is a very small fan that circulates the air for about 3 minutes on/3 minutes off. I put the meat thermometer in between two zipper plastic bags of water - kinda like a water weasel. Poked a few holes in the side of the ice chest for ventilation and set everything inside.
    I had it running for about 6 hours last night and the RH was between 46 and 51 fluctuating and the temp was at 100 degrees, pretty steady.
    I did not leave it on all night though. (I'm not that trusting of my handy work yet). I turned it back on today before I left for work and my son will watch it and chart the temps/humidity throughout the day until I'm home. If it stays within range, I will attempt to up the humidity to 60-70 percent.
    If all goes well, I will fasten everything down and find some eggs to try!

    It's certainly not the prettiest thing, but it was a fun project. The $20 I spent was mainly the dimmer, lamp kit and therm/hygro, all of which I will re-use so not real money loss if it doesn't work. I'll post pics if it looks like its going to work.

    I'm currently trying to figure a way to make a turner....any suggestions?
  2. cmgamble

    cmgamble In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2007
    I have the HOVA Bator 1588 and am having a wonderful hatch. See my pics under "I think I heard a chirp" thread. It works well. Holds temperature well and easy to use. I am going to add the egg turner next. This was my first hatch. 14 chicks out of 26 eggs so far.
  3. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Hey, AccidentalFarm,
    What's ther verdict on your homemade incubator?
  4. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    The incubator is holding temps and humidity really well. I bumped the humidity up to hatching range and it also seemed to do just fine. I haven't set any eggs in it yet, I plan to re-work the entire thing to be more sturdy and easier to use. I also have been tinkering with a diy turner. Not a lot of success on that yet, though.

    I'm going to purchase an incubator -probably the hova- with all the bells and whistles. I'll set eggs in the diy model and the purchased model at the same time and see how it goes.

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