Bread Box Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MissPrissy, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I have been wanting to set up a smaller incubator than larger styrofoam cooler incubator I made back in the summer. The original bator is huge and can set a flat of eggs (2.5 dozen) at one time. I don't want to have to regulate and run that big box just to hatch a few eggs at a time.

    I was trying to think outside of the box. I asked myself what can a chickenloving housewife use to make a small incubator out of inexpensively? How can she do it safely and without worrying about the electrical and know she did it right?

    So, I built a new one.

    I used an old breadbox with a plexiglass window insert that I found at the goodwill for $7. You probably have one or know someone with an old one they don't use any more. If I was back home in Georgia I know my sister has 2 I couldhave gotten!

    I picked up one of the $11 thermometer/Hygrometer with probe combos by acurite (I have one but I wanted a second one incase I decided to use both bators at one time), a water wiggler $0.88, $5 a bottle lamp kit, and an $8 single pole hot water heater thermostat. I already had some little wood screws, electrical tape and a surge protector.

    First I secured my thermostat to the upper top corner of the breadbox. I did so because I want the thermostat as far away from the heat source as possible. I want to be sure the eggs on that side don't get too cool.

    Next I drilled a hole for the lamp kit making sure the lamp neck was placed so that when the lid closes the light bulb is not touching or extended out too far.

    Using the bottle lamp kit I threaded the hollow metal tube through the hole and then threaded the electrical wire through the tube and screwed down both ends to make it tight.

    Following the lamp instructions I wired the ribbed wire to the brass screw (see #1). I then cut a piece of the wiring and ran that from the silver screw through the side hole to the thermostat (see #3). I took the other wire coming into the box and threaded it through the side hole and wired it to the other screw on the thermostat (see #2).

    It wasn't hard. You can do it. Take your time. If you wire it wrong when you plug it in your breaker will trip. You'll know then what to do. LOL

    I then cut a piece of shelf liner and laid it in the bottom so the eggs would be coushioned and not roll.

    The light works, the thermostat works.

    I did caulk around the little window so that warm air wouldn't easily escape and cause the light to run more than it needed.

    I did not drill any vent holes in mine for 2 reasons. The humidity in my house is at 52% and has beed holding that for the past week. The lid has a lillte gap along one side that I think will let the bator breath properly. If I need more venting it won't take 1 min to drill out a hole. We'll see.

    If you build one you might need to drill holes and plug them with a cork as needed.

    Now it is sitting and warming up. It will run from now until the Blue Orpington eggs Cynthia is sending me has their 21+ days in the incubator.

    I am not one to count my cicks before they hatch so wish me luck. The eggs went in the mail this morning. I am on pins and needles hoping they make it to me intact.


    ** I will update this as needed if I have to change anything.

    I also want to add that this little bator can sit on my kitchen counter and not be in the way. The big bator I had was always in the way no matter where we had it while testing it. We ended up keeping that one on the dining room buffet with the last batch of eggs.

    This one is pretty and won't look out of place on the countertop.

    Nothing is wrong with functional and decorative! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2007
  2. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Songster

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I just want you to know, Miss Prissy, that you put Martha Stewart to shame. I love reading your posts. I have learned a lot from you, thanks. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    It's so funny you did that because my DH was talking about using a breadbox he saw at the fleamarket into a small bator awhile back, LOL. You are so resourceful! Did you get my emails? The eggs got into the P.O. at 9:01 a.m. so hopefully, you'll have them by Wednesday at the latest.
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Wow, that looks great! I REALLY want to hatch some banty's once my girls start laying and that looks like a doable project for us, and very economical!

    I like the wood better than the styrofoam ones.

    I have another idea... I have some corrugated plastic sheeting (coroplast, like they use to make signs)

    It's really durable, and can be easily washed down with clorox water/disinfectant between hatches, and would be cheap to replace.

    I think I'll try using that to make a box shaped liner to go in the bottom to make cleanup easy!

    Hmmm... thanks for getting me thinking on this one!

  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Thank you, texaschick mama! I try to post interesting things.

    Cyn, great mind thinks alike!

    Susan, It is a very doable project AND you don't have to wait for someone to do it for you. YOU can do it yourself. The electric is not hard. You need to follow directions for simple wiring.

    One of the reasons I did this one was because often I read where someone is having to wait for their husband/bf/so to do something for them and I wanted to show that you don't have to wait for them. Do it yourself!

    Also I love to peak in the window and see what the temp is and to just gaze longingly at the eggs. With a smallish incubator that can sit on the kitchen countertop it is easier to observe and I don't have to run to the cellar all the time. LOL

    My kitchen pretty much has a constant temperature so unless I notice a temp spike I plan to leave it there.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  6. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Prissy, that is the neatest thing!!!!! It's pretty as well as functional!!! You are so clever!!!

    I've been wanting to build a small wooden bator - I wonder if I can replicate the breadbox? Around here, you would have to pay an arm and a leg for a breadbox like that, so it'd be cheaper for me to make one. Unless, of course, I could come up with something else that is already made that would work. Hmmmmm?????

    Good luck with your BBB (bread box bator)!!!

  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    What a great idea...thanks for posting that and pics...I would love to live close to you! are inspiring!.... [​IMG]
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Give it a try, skeeter. Might I suggest looking at yardsales or a thrift store. I promise you this thing is beat up and not in the best shape. The photos make is prettier than it really is.

    Tuffoldhen, where in VW? You might not be that far from me after all. You can make one, too!
  9. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    What do you were trying to think outside the box??? You have no extra time to even think with all the projects you teach us! [​IMG] Where oh where do you find the time for all this??? [​IMG]
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    It took one hour to put it all together after I had collected the pieces.

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