Dedicated Hatcher

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JetCat, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been contemplating building a dedicated hatcher. Below is the design i've got in mind, the hatch trays will be 1/4" hardware cloth to allow for circulation and an aluminum sheet on the bottom of the hatcher to act as a catch pan. i don't see a simple way to add a catch pan below the top tray without compromising circulation. any suggestions or input on the design is greatly appreciated.




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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nice design.
    You could take some perforated rubber shelf liner and put it on the bottom of the top hatching tray except for the portion below where the warm air enters. That would keep most of the feces from falling through and still not restrict air flow. Plus that tray is in the middle so temp should stay pretty constant.

    I built one very similar but it is in a large cabinet that has the incubator sitting in the middle of it. The cabinet is huge and the incubator box slides into the cabinet with an air space top, bottom and both sides. The bottom space has a door the hatch tray slides into. There is a bank of fans on the left side just above the hatch space. Above that is the primary heat element. Then over the top of the incubator where the water reservoir is. Then down the right side across a secondary heat element, down to another water reservoir and then across the eggs.
    The two heat elements have separate redundant controls. Both water trays are filled from above the cabinet. One is fed by a gallon glass jug working on vacuum.
     
  3. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your input i really appreciate it. i was thinking on it this morning and i think i'll try a removable window screen below the top tray, that should allow unimpeded circulation and catch the majority of anything that could fall to the chicks in the tray below.
     
  4. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On my hatchers I use solid bottom hatching drawers with a removable liner. Rubber shelf liner with a paper towel underneath works well. If you leave a gap 3" or so in front and behind the drawers or lined wire baskets the air will flow from front to back across the egg. I have found this design element is preferable to the air flowing thought the egg trays top to bottom. Easier to clean up using a liner. I don't use false backs in my designs.
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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
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  5. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks HatchCraft!!!

    one question, with no false back do you have any 'cold spots' around the bottom?
     
  6. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made units with false backs,but found i had better air circulation without them. Try an visualize how the air will flow. Any obstruction or restriction will reduce flow and increase temp differential. In the photo you can see the bottom drawer is raised 1 1/2" above the floor of the incubator. What air is not drawn though the drawer opening completes the circuit by returning underneath the bottom drawer. Temps are fairly uniformed though out the cabinet. Keeping the cabinet compact like in your plan will make it much easier to heat uniformly. I know people have different opinions when it comes to incubators so you will need to be the judge as to what works. I like a very positive, medium velocity air flow with no dead spots. The flowing air is like an eggs life blood. It imparts warmth in early development and removes the excess heat in the later stages of development. In a hatcher cold spots are not as much of a problem as hot spots. The eggs will be exothermic and much warmer than the surrounding air. At this stage the flowing air is actually cooling the eggs slightly. Some people will reduce set temp by 1 deg or so when hatching. I don't. On large commercial incubators they have a cooling function because ventilation alone won't remove the heat from thousands of warm egg in an insulated box. Lucky for us eggs are resilient and can tolerate a range of temps and still hatch. It always comes down to trial and error in designs. I love to see other peoples Ideas and yours may be better than mine. I would hate to admit how many failed designs I built and trashed.

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    1 person likes this.
  7. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah i use Aspire 8 for designing in, it's less work and wasted wood then designing on the fly in the shop. after your first post i've been tinkering with the design more but still haven't got to the point i'm ready to venture out to the shop, especially in this rain [​IMG]
     
  8. HatchCraft

    HatchCraft Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a CAD program but I have built so many over the years I have everything in my head now. I borrowed a picture from a BYC member of one of my hatching drawers with the shelf liner. Lost most of my pics after repeated crashes. I see no rain! Buildings is half the fun.


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  9. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you must be in the eastern part of north Florida, i'm in the southeast corner of Alabama and we've had heavy storms and rain the better part of last night and still going on now.

    thanks again for the pics and feedback, i like the 2 drawer setup.
     
  10. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I"ve been busy but got a little time to work on the hatcher here and there. i never liked how the wick pads deteriorate so i put together an ultrasonic humidifier that fits into the auto level tray from my Sportsman (i'll be using the tray and auto fill bucket in the hatcher as i dry incubate), it'll boost humidity to any level you'd like quickly and is controlled by an electronic controller.

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