88% hatch rate with homemade bator AND first hatch!


9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
Northeast Florida
I am delighted to say I got an 88% hatch rate on my very first hatch AND did it all with a homemade bator. I sadly lost one chick and am not sure why. It was fully developed, but never managed to pip.

I used a Sterlite container for the bator and a bottle lamp kit.






Great job! Congratulations on your new chicks! I know you only lost one chick - how many hatched?

I'm on my first hatch with an incubator and my incubator is homemade too. I'm on day 19 and sure how I get good results like you did. My VERY first hatch was last year with eggs I purchased and set under a broody hen.
Wow, that is awesome!
Show us more about your incubator. Air holes, what is the clear part on top? what is a lamp kit? how did you put it togehter inside?? Sounds like it did an awesome job of holding humidity, better than styrofoam might.
Were they shipped or home grown eggs?
Thanks everyone! I had 13 eggs. 8 hatched out of 9 fertile eggs. 4 were not fertile.

The bator was cheap and easy to make. I did have some issues at first, but it was my fault. There are some things I would change about the bator and it would make humidity levels work even better. As it was, my water dishes were too shallow, so the water dried out quickly. A very kind BYB member told me to add paper towels to help hold the moisture and it worked like a charm! However, if I could redo it I would raise the lightbulb and add deeper water dishes of the same L x Wdimensions as the shallow. I would also add a full wall of mesh wire instead of the half wall I did. The chicks tried to climb it!

Anyhow, I used a small Sterlite container. I cut out a window for the top and used an old picture frame glass for the top. I cut out a hold in the side to slip my hand into so that I could turn the eggs without letting out a lot of heat/humidity (this feature worked GREAT). I made insulation for the turning flap with clear tape and left it hanging in the door. Then, I re-attached the piece I cut off as the actual flap. This way, when I reached my hand inside, I still had plastic tape surrounding my hand and holding in the heat/humidity.

Inside, I lined the bottom with mesh/rubber shelf liner. I added a half wall of aluminum foil around the lightbulb to prevent direct heat. I also added a wall of aluminum foil along the opposite side for insulation and to help stabalize the heat. I added my water dishes under the light bulb.

The bottle lamp kit can be found at any Wal-mart or hardware store. It's $5 and is basically a socket for lightbulbs. Someone from BYB suggested a dimmer switch, also found at Wal-mart, that plugged into the actual lightbulb and allowed me to precisely control the temperature.

I did have a few temp issues at first, but that was because the bator was under a draft. As soon as I moved it out of the draft, the temp stabalized without issue.

Best of all, it is EASY to clean since it is plastic

Here are more pics.

This is under the turning flap:

Turning flap closed:

Direct inside view showing the half bulb and light from the bulb:

This is the back wall with the added foil wall (the temp was down because I had the top off while getting ready for lockdown)

Oh, almost forgot. It held 13 eggs easily. I probably could have squeezedin one or two more. So, great incubator for small hatches!
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