Building an incubator...what to use for heat?


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
A friend of mine has had good luck using a reptile thermostat to hold heat in his homemade incubator. However, he also uses 4-100W light bulbs as the 'heat element'. It holds heat very well, but personally I'd rather not have lights flicking on and off all the time. Plus, with them doing away with the incandescent light bulbs, I'd have to figure something else out soon enough.

I was wondering if I could use a reptile heat cable similar to this as the heating element? Would those put off enough heat? I'd have a fan, so the heat would be circulated. Or would a small heat lamp (100-150W) work? I've thought about using the ceramic heat 'bulbs' since they don't put off light.
i live in los angeles, and i haven't heard anything about them banning the use or manufacturing of incandescent bulbs...

anyways... i use two 40W bulbs in my fridge-a-bator... i also use two black light reptile light bulbs... i know that they will never stop making these types of bulbs...

in my brooder, i use flexwatt heat tape...
How big is your incubator? I use a 40 W appliance bulb for a heating element in a cooler incubator. It's hard to beat light bulbs for the price. I bought a mug heater from the thrift store that would heat twice as much volume (85W) for $2. If you're handy you can tear the heating element out of a variety of thrift store appliances. Several 100W bulbs would be in a large cabinet incubator.
I'm planning on making a cabinet-style least 24" tall and 19" wide by 19" deep. I want a 'big' bator that I can use the hovabator turners in. I might make it bigger...haven't decided yet.
I have an old school stereo cabinet from Goodwill out in the garage. Probably from the 80's. Glass front, maybe 18" square, maybe three feet tall, plus. I've been wanting to turn that into an incubator for a while. That incu-kit or whatever that was just posted, seems like THE THING to make an easy convesion. I was going to suspend plastic egg trays from wires or small chains, and drill holes in the top four corners and connect them to a bar across the top, that I just slide from side to side when I want to turn all my eggs. I can turn eggs any time I want that way, without opening the bator, and only take a few seconds if I take my time sliding the bar across. I just ordered an incu kit or what have you. I can't wait for it to get here and I will post pics and give a review.
Mine is 3 ' X 2' X 1 1/2', made from 3/4 plywood for insulation value, and my outside temps are running from 60 to 80 this time of year. If you are going to keep it inside, you probably would not need the 160watts that I am using. That is a little much for me. .............stan

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