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Calling all bator builders and hatchahoics...share your wisdom

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BirdBrain, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    I have looooong drooled over the possibility of building my own bator with the kids and watching some chicks hatch. I have seen some really terrific posts and lots of wisdom shared. Undoubtably, sharing the same stuff a million times gets old and I would love to see a bunch of that wisdom in an easy to find place. Whether it is a sticky or someones BYC page, I would love it if all of you bator builders would contribute pictures, instructions and just plain old-fashioned wisdom on the topic of building bators.

    To start with, here are some words of wisdom I gleaned from Speckled Hen and Daveroo:

    1. Heat should come from above the egg. It makes it easier to regulate the temp and the embryos use it as part of their "which-way-is-up" orientation at hatch time.

    2. Deflector should be placed in front of the bulb so it isn't intensely hot on that side

    3. Place fan so it blows accross the bulb to disperse heat.

    4. WindyOaksYokes had a great post written with her husband's help on why you put a hot water heater type thermostat on a metal junction box before attaching it to the wall of your bator--keeps the temps more stable. Here is the link https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=89521

    Please
    add anything you can (pictures too) that might help future bator builders and let's see if we can get some of this stuff posted in a central location...360+ pages of posts is a lot to wade through.




    Can't wait to hear what ya'll have to add.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  2. Rocky4052

    Rocky4052 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2007
    Southeastern Ma.
  3. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm Premium Member

  4. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    My rant against makeshift thermostats.

    I think its great to see all the different foks building their own incubators. Something that really seems to be a hang-up for many is finding a workable, reliable thermostat.

    The wafer type thermostat has been in use controlling the temps in incubators and brooders since the use of electricity came on the scene. The wafer itself was used on some kerosene heated incubators even before the electric models were developed.

    Wafer thermostats are readily available from a number of internet sources for around the price of a dozen shipped eggs. McMurray, GQF, Randal Burkey, and others all carry them.

    For a few dollars more a Solid State Thermostat like the one used for the Little Giant styro bator may be had. Like this one on eBay, Item number: 200255443346.

    I just wanted to share this information so that, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, folks can get their homemade incubators up and running and get on with the fun of hatching.
    db
     
  5. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Thanks ya'll. Those are all good points. Miss Prissy's bator was what first got me wanting to do one myself. The bricks or rocks are a great heat holding idea. I think I'll incorporate that in mine. Also, DB, you probably saved me a lot of worry. I was originally thinking to use a thermostat from a hotwater heater. I ordered a wafer thermostat from Double R. Should be here by the end of the week.

    I also found this info from the Mississippi State University that talks about temps, progression of the embryo and . http://www.msstate.edu/dept/poultry/hatch.htm

    The
    University of Illinois had the following advice on their site at : http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/eggs/res19-opincubator.html


    Thermostat Operation
    Put wing nut on the adjusting screw about 3/4 of the way. Put adjusting screw through center hole of the top and screw into the thermostat about 1/2 inch. Screw wafer onto end of Adjusting Screw until snug. The incubator is now ready to operate.

    Plug electric cord into electrical outlet. Turn thermostat adjusting screw clockwise until pilot light goes out (you may hear switch click).

    Turn adjusting screw four complete turns counter clockwise. The pilot light will come on. Any time the pilot light is on, the heater and fan (if you have one) will be on. Any time the pilot light is off, the heater will be off.

    As incubator warms up, the thermostat wafer will expand, turning off pilot light and heater.

    When pilot light goes out, check the temperature. If it has not reached 100 degrees F., turn adjusting screw counter clockwise one or two full turns. (To help in regulating, always leave adjusting screw pointing straight up, down, left or right. After each setting tighten the wing nut, so the adjusting screw will stay in place. For fine adjustment make corrections 1/4 or 1/8 of a turn). Permit time for incubator to heat up until light goes out.

    If temperature has not reached 100.5 degrees F., repeat process until 100.5 degrees F. is reached. Fine adjust thermostat to hold as close to 100.5 degrees F. as possible. If it does not hold exactly on 100.5 degrees F., regulate so that it turns on and off the same above and below 100.5 degrees F.

    Remember - Temperature setting can vary as much as 1/2 degree above and 1/2 degree below your desired temperature.

    Important - Please Read Carefully

    Please read the instruction on Thermostat Operation again. Some users will heat the incubator with thermostat wafer too far from the thermostat switch, over heating the incubator (above 110 degrees F.), which can break the thermometer and damage the thermostat wafer.
     
  6. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  7. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    WindyOaksYokes had a great post written with her husband's help on why you put a hot water heater type thermostat on a metal junction box before attaching it to the wall of your bator--keeps the temps more stable. Here is the link https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=89521

    I respectfully disagree with the theory on why you do this after testing it out. What I found through my testing was that the metal does indeed act as a mass source. This causes the thermostat to cool off slower than the air around it. Because of this, the thermostat does not come on when it should, and it allows temperatures to drop too much inside the incubator.

    Therefore, I would not recommend it.​
     
  8. BeardedChick

    BeardedChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok, and a few more thoughts.

    My DH is a computer guy, and we had a variety of fans to try out as I pillaged his equipment storage. The quietest by far is a larger 4x4 fan. The small cute fans make more noise. The bigger, quieter ones move air more efficiently.

    Double and triple check your thermometer. I got two bad Accurites in a row, and ended up buying something more reliable (and much more $$$$$).

    Recyclable aluminum pans fit perfectly in the bottom of some coolers, and make a very clean, easy way to have a water tray.
     
  9. griffin45

    griffin45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 15, 2008
    South Central Virgina
    Quote:I respectfully disagree with the theory on why you do this after testing it out. What I found through my testing was that the metal does indeed act as a mass source. This causes the thermostat to cool off slower than the air around it. Because of this, the thermostat does not come on when it should, and it allows temperatures to drop too much inside the incubator.

    Therefore, I would not recommend it.

    Me Too! It should be mounted away from any thermal mass! The temperature swings are incredible! When the mass cools much slower than the air, it makes temperature control near impossible. Of course wafer type thermostats are only slightly more expensive and you might have to mail order it but the accuracy is so much better it is worth it.
     
  10. erin0415

    erin0415 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    North Texas
    I agree with all that say the wafer is the way to go. I spent waaaay too much time trying to get the hot water heater thermo to work, even tried to attach to metal. I was very frustrated. The wafer worked flawlessly. Well worth the small amount of extra $$
     

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