Best Homemade Incubators?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by pawtraitart, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Songster

    May 30, 2007
    There are several homemade incubator threads here on BYC, but I'm finding it confusing because there is so much fine tuning that is done to get it right. Is there a post in particular which has instructions and photos for the "best final version" of an incubator as opposed to pages of commentary my volunteer incubator builder would have to dig through? Am I hoping for too much? [​IMG]
  2. edster951

    edster951 Songster

    No matter whos plans you use, you'll still have a lot of tweaking to do.

    I've been tweaking for a week now, but I have to turn it off in the evenings as the thermostat interferes with the TV. But I can crank it up quickly to the right temp and humidity.

    When all this is done I'll rig up an egg turner and water spout so I don't have to open it, but the advantage of opening it is it helps replace the incubator with fresh air.

    And the chicken gets off her eggs everynow and then for feeding and pooping....
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2007
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I second the tweaking thing - even with a bought incubator you have to get it warmed up and check temps, and adjust.

    The best bator is one that works [​IMG]

    The key components are a fairly well insulated box of some kind, a thermostat and a heat source (usually a light bulb in a homemade bator). A PC fan makes it a LOT more stable.

    Most people include a grid, and wire covers to protect the chicks from the fan and light/heat source once they hatch.... and a glass insert for a lid.

    My bators are both made out of 34 Qt rubbermaid coolers. Temps took several days of watching to tweak the thermostat.

    Humidity is controlled by the use of a water tray in the bottom, or I can flood the entire bottom if needed, and holes around the top I can cover with duct tape or open as needed.

    Ventiliation is important too, and so I have several small 1/4" holes drilled around the bottom of the bator, below the wire grid, for ventilation.

    Good luck!
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Susan gave a nice summary on incubators. Although they can look very different, due to the container choice, most have very similar parts. Most of the important information and pictures on building an incubator are going to be in the first post of any thread. I would say, choose one with pictures and descriptions that are the easiest for you to follow. I don't think you can really go wrong, people do such an excellent job on their how-to posts here.

    These two posts might also help you.

    Where to find parts, including the exact department in the the store:

    A very nice wiring diagram on page 2:

    I wouldn't worry too much about the tweaking. I'd focus on getting the basic incubator built and then just test it out. You can post a message here on how it's going, if any of your readings aren't quite right and get ideas on what to adjust. I don't think you'll have too much trouble.

    Good luck! I think you are going to have so much fun!

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