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Broody Cat PICS, Old Drawer Bator, D'Uccles due 4-24 - Hatched

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MichiganWoods, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    I've got the whole write up on my BYC page here as to how I made it, but will repost the info in this thread so that we can follow how well this incubator works.

    I have 6 Porcelain D'Uccle eggs that are supposed to be arriving in the mail today. Waiting for the Post Office to gimme a call. Once they've rested, they will go into this new/old 'bator!

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    I recently removed a "permanent" desk from in our kitchen. I was left with a bunch of drawers that had been stapled together, leaving me unable to take them apart to use the individual boards. Not sure of what I would do with them, they joined my pile of "to fiddle with later" supplies, which housed fragments of an old entertainment unit I had dismantled the week before. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I might just be able to hobble together an incubator. This is what I came up with.

    Two drawers happened to be exactly the same size. When I stacked them together, they made a nice sized box. I used two galvanized hinges to connect them, as well as the little dead bolt lock in the front to help ensure it wouldn't get knocked open somehow. The handle is from my old entertainment unit, and was bolted to the lid for easy opening and closing.

    The left and the right sides both have two ventilation holes, while the front has three. I also put holes to the left and right of the viewing window on the lid for some upper circulation. On the back of the unit I have secured a rubber knob so that when I open the lid, it doesn't fall back on itself and smash all of my wires. The Fan wires run out of the back.


    I cut out foil insulation in exact sizes for each interior wall, and each piece was taped into place using foil insulation tape.

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    I had to use a small electric hand saw to roughly cut out the hole for the window. In order to make a ledge for the window to sit on, I took a razor blade and scored 1/2" from the opening all the way around. With a hammer and a chisel, I carefully chipped away at it until I had a decent opening. The window is leftover plexi-glass I had from an older project. I used a bit of wood glue to seal it up a bit, though not perfectly. To compensate for the remaining gaps, I cut up a thin 1" wide oak trim piece and screwed it into place overtop the edges of the window . There's one window underneath the frame-like border. However, since my 15lb cat tried sitting on that a few times, I decided I needed to reinforce it. I added the second window on top of the frame and used the little metal tabs on each of the corners to secure it.

    I used my drill to put a hole into the side of the incubator through which I could feed my thermometer wire.

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    This side shows you scribbling that the manufacturers put on the drawers. You can also see where the lamp kit cord exits. The hole that isn't covered has a 1" vinyl tube running through it, down to a plastic butter dish cover, which I turned upside down. There is where I add water to bump up the humidity when needed (I have a humidity gauge taped to the white gutter guard over next to the light on the right hand side).

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    I add water by using a cheap refillable plastic ketchup bottle; the kind mainly used at picnics. They've got a narrow tip which allows me to squeeze the water into the tubing without making a mess everywhere.

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    Here is a view of what you see inside the window. I poked a hole through the top of a store bought egg and emptied it out, washed it with dish soap and then filled it with liquid antibacterial soap. The cable you see running into it is my outdoor thermometer meter. It's telling me what the internal temperature in the egg is.

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    The egg is sitting in an automatic egg turner I picked up from Tractor Supply today. It is an LG auto turner. I took heavy duty snippers meant for cutting sheet metal and clipped the unit in half so that it would fit inside this incubator. Some might cringe, but I don't forsee myself ever hatching more than 20 eggs at a time. This suits my needs.

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    Rather than using hardware cloth to divide the inside of the incubator up (got tired of having sliced up fingers), I opted to use a section of plastic gutter guards meant for the eaves of your house. I had leftover from when they were installed last summer, and only needed to use one piece for this. I cut it and used my foil insulation tape to secure it into place.

    I also took a sturdy lid from one of my Rubbermaid container buckets and used it to put just inside of the plastic gutter guard section. It fits snugly. Hopefully it will help keep the incubator more sanitary and easier to clean. To help the chicks stand up when they first hatch, I've covered the lid with paper towel.

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    Starting from left to right, this is the upside down butter dish cover. You can see the 1" vinyl tube curving down into it. I cut the end of the tube at an angle so that it won't ever seal up and make it difficult for water to flow through it.

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    Here is the lower level thermostat, screwed to the wall, and wired to the lamp kit. The lamp kit is running a 15w bulb.

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    I secured it into place using a metal L shaped bracket, which was bolted to the bottom of the incubator, and a 1" one hole strap. The one hole strap and the L shaped bracket were secured together using a nut and bolt. Without a bulb in the socket, the lamp head slips snugly into the opening of the metal bracket and strap.

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    This is a 12v CPU fan meant for a computer. I didn't specifically try and find one that was running a neon light, but that is what I had laying around the house! I found an old 12v AC adapter and clipped the connector end off. The AC adapter cable with the dashes on it connected to the red fan wire, and the solid black cable connected to the black wire. The yellow fan wire was left alone, since this controls computer related things not needed here. I duct taped it the two sets of wires together so it couldn't be easily yanked apart. I plugged it into my surge protector to test it, and it worked right off the bat. Not too shabby!

    I added the second lightbulb on this side because when the thermostat turned the other light off, the temperature fluctuated wildly. I also wanted to be able to maintain a more even heat. This light is a lesser wattage (11w), and I have it running constantly. It is in a socket that has a plug directly on the other end of it. This is connected into an extension cord, which I've got taped down to hold it in place.

    The temperature inside the egg has been hovering between 99-101. I don't think I can get better than that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  2. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Nice setup and use of materials [​IMG] I like it lots. I'm still modifying the UglyBator and will post when it's finished. LOL AFTER it's second hatch, so it works - it just could work better [​IMG] I'm also adding a second supplemental heat light. And I'm not thrilled with playing with the hardwire either. Great work, pity you stuffed that sensor up a rooster instead of an e gg.
     
  3. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
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    I think that "error" has been one of the funniest today.
     
  4. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    All righty. Eggs were supposed to arrive on Wednesday, but didn't arrive until Thursday, and the Post Office didn't get ahold of me until this morning. At least they held them there, and the gal who packaged these eggs did so incredibly well. The box was huge for only having 7 eggs in it! (Yep, she included an extra!)

    So here they are freshly put into the incubator after having half a day to rest.

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    Due date is on or around April 24th!
     
  5. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    And this is exactly why I needed to make my windows out of plexi-glass, and double pane it.

    This is Dar, my big fuzzy baby that sometimes acts like a dog. [​IMG] He's around 4-years-old now. Only cat I know that plays hide and seek... ask my DH. It's funny to watch us play. This cat weighs about 15lbs. Quite a chunk of weight to be sitting on my incubator window. I don't leave him there too long when I catch him on it as I don't want the temperature to skyrocket. But so far him laying on top of it hasn't effected it. I've been keeping an eye on my thermometer.

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  6. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. MichiganWoods

    MichiganWoods DD (Artistic Digital Diva)

    Oct 6, 2008
    West Michigan
    Hee. [​IMG]
     
  8. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
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  9. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
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    Nice incubator!
     
  10. Chickenfeet

    Chickenfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2009
    Cleveland, Ga.
    I am impressed!! Great work. My cat also plays hide 'n seek. Good luck on your hatch!! [​IMG]
     

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