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Building an Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mbphotos09, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. mbphotos09

    mbphotos09 Songster

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    Watching Chicken TV...
    Okay, so I've decided to build myself an incubator and hatch a few eggs! I'm so excited! [​IMG] I am making it out of a styofoam ice chest because that is what I have on hand. BUT before I get too far into this, I have some questions.

    - What is the best thermostat to use? I've read to get a hot water heater thermostat but some say those aren't accurate.,?

    - What bulb wattage is best? I'm thinking either 25w or 40w, which one do you all use?

    - And finally, how many eggs should be in an incubator at a time? I only need a couple more hens to add to my little flock and I know that some eggs won't hatch and I will hatch some boys.

    That's all for now and thanks for putting up with my questions! I am a total newbie when it comes to incubating so hopefully this will go well. I will probably remember more questions as soon as I hit submit..[​IMG]
     

  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

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    If you are only looking at adding a few chickens to your flock, why not just let a broody hatch some?
     
  3. mbphotos09

    mbphotos09 Songster

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    Because I only have two chickens right now and neither are broody. I also don't have a rooster anymore so I will have to order some eggs. I have wanted to build an incubator for a while now, and thought this would be a good opportunity. [​IMG]
     
  4. gpop1

    gpop1 Songster

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    avoid the water heater thermostat if possible as that's a old school way to do it. Digital temperature controllers are a lot cheaper now so every one uses them. If you have no electrical skills you can buy controllers that are set up with a receptacle so its plug and play.

    bulb size is calculated by how long it stays on and how long it goes off. Once built you will test run to work out the best size.

    It doesn't matter if the incubator can hold 300 eggs it will still work even if you only put 1 in it. On posted eggs I would guess that 10 eggs should give you about 6 chicks of which 2-4 should be hens.

    Murphys law is at work which is why buying sexed chicks is a better way to get a few hens than it is to go through the hassle of incubating and having to deal with the mistakes/spares. If you are interested in incubating then thats a good reason to build and hatch your own it just makes 2 hens a little expensive.
     
  5. mbphotos09

    mbphotos09 Songster

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    Thanks for the reply!
    Okay, so don't do a hot water heater thermostat, that is what I was thinking but was just making sure.
    Thanks for the estimation on about how many eggs will hatch and how many will be hens, it is helpful.
    Yes, this way of getting a few more hens is probably a little more complicated than just buying a couple of pullets, lol. I decided to hatch some chicks because I've never done it before and thought it would be a good learning experience. And when I need to add to my flock, I can use it again.

    Thanks again for taking the time to reply! :)
     
  6. gpop1

    gpop1 Songster

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    A hot water heater works with in a band so it will turn on maybe 3 degrees lower than what it will shut off . This is to avoid constant cycling the water heater and reducing its life plus no one cares about the tap water being 3 degrees different. Modern digitals can be programmed to switch on and off with in 0.1 degrees which is better for incubating eggs
     
  7. mbphotos09

    mbphotos09 Songster

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    Okay that makes since.
    So would a digital thermometer with probes work? Like this?
    [​IMG]
    Or maybe even a digital cooking thermometer with probes?
    Sorry for so many questions, I want to make sure I understand everything.
     

  8. mbphotos09

    mbphotos09 Songster

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    [​IMG]
    Or this one from Lowes? It measures humidity and temperature levels.
     
  9. gpop1

    gpop1 Songster

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    no you need a digital temperature controller not a thermometer. What you have listed will show the temperature what you need is something to control the temperature.

    Do a ebay search for a digital temperature controller

    personally I like the ones with 4 digit displays because the 3 digits can not display .1 degrees past 100 on F (you do not want the pid type)
     
  10. mbphotos09

    mbphotos09 Songster

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    Ooh! Ok I misunderstood, I will search those on EBay real quick.
     

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