Last year I ordered a box of chicks from McMurray - I spent a little over $100 for birds & shipping. This year I decided that I would get an incubator & do the hatching myself for less. I reserched the net for plans etc. Watched some vids on Youtube & decided to build it out of what ever I can find around the house & spend as little as possible. Plus - I wanted to set more eggs than can usually be set in the still air incs I've seen for sale cheap. I had a large pile of cedar 1x3's 38 inches long left over from my picket fence project this summer. So I built a box 38 inches by 16 inches with a lid. I had a couple of henges in the garage so I used them to hinge the lid. I did purchase 2 latches @ $2.95 each to latch it closed. I wanted some insulation but didn't have any styrofoam. So I had to splurge for a 4x8 sheet of 1/2 inch foam board that was foil faced on one side. I only used half of this (actually less than half) so though I spent $10 for the board - I'm only claiming $5 for this project. So - I have the box + insulation, hinges & latches for just under $11. For the heat source I used 2 of my brooder lights. The $8 ones you get a walmart that have the metal bell to focus the light. Well it turns out that you can unscrew the light portion of this & remove the metal bell thing. I drilled 2 holes in the side of my box just barely large enough for these to fit into. Since I already hat these -& I can remove them to use again as brooder lights - cost was $0 Next I wanted a false floor for the chicks to hatch out onto. Again I turned to my trusty 1x3 cedar boards & built a frame that I attached 1/4 in. hardware cloth ( the left overs from my brooder project. Again $0 I now needed a way to turn the eggs w/o opening the lid. This took some thought. I really wanted an automatic turner - but didn't want the expense - I figure I can turn the eggs by hand 3x per day - once before leaving for work, once when I get home from work & once before bed. Not that tough as long as I don't leave town for the first 2 weeks (not really a problem). Anyway - I cut a board out of plywood that was notched around the light bulbs & using an old paint roller extension pole I had I created a turning system. I drilled a hole on each end of the box just barely large enough for the pole piece to fit through. Then I notched the pole sections to hold the plywood section. This will allow me to remove the turner at around week 2 when they no longer need to be turned. I simply twist the pole sections by hand & the eggs are rotated 180*. This cost $0 because again - stuff I had laying around. I needed a temp/humidity gage. I looked at the local farm places but they had none. So off to eBay I went. I found one that is digital - is accurate to +- 1* & it cost just $0.99 - but it was $6.99 in shipping from China & it took a couple weeks to arrive. So that brings the total to $18.98 I still need to buy (2) 25 watt bulbs & a peice of plexiglass to cover the lid so I can watch the progress. I wish I had a piece of glass or plexi I could use instead of buying - but I don't. In the end I bet the plexi will cost me as much as I've already spent & light bulbs cost is negligable. So tell me what you think!