Designing a better 'bator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Smidoid, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. Smidoid

    Smidoid Out Of The Brooder

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    I came across this wonderful thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/704328/diary-notes-air-cell-detatched-shipped-eggs

    and asked myself - but what about DIY 'bators?

    I know a lot of people build them out of everything from cardboard to old refrigerators - and use forced air or convection but the scientist in me keeps niggling that we're folllowing the same old routine. Incubators for the most part don't appear to haven't changed a lot - particularly home-grown ones - from the same basic design.

    Please, tell me if I'm wrong, but I'm wondering if there's any room for discussing a "Dyson" incubator.

    Not a posh "cyclonic" incubator - but a bit of blue-sky thinking. Vacuum cleaner had been made the same way for years until James Dyson got involved.

    I'm thinking something that's not already out there and something we can build a home with a minimum of skills and parts.

    The part that really interests me is the atmospheric controls (although clearly there is scope for auto-turners).

    In nature, a hen incubates the clutch against her skin - but in a traditional 'bator we use moving (or even still) air. Is this the best method? Certainly, it's successful.

    What can we do to automate the humidity levels? What about the CO2 levels? [Sensitive CO2 sensors are very costly!]

    Can we include a candling unit so we don't have to remove the eggs?

    Should we recirculate air use fresh air or a combination? What if the outside air contains other gases? Can we filter it?

    and so on?

    Just food for thought...
     
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  2. ellie32526

    ellie32526 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OMG! That's too deep for me. I'm just going to let one of my hens do the work. LOL.
     
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  3. Quyen Le

    Quyen Le Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first goal is hatch rate. If you get better hatch rate, it counts.
    Convenience is second. Automatic incubator is nice thing to have.
     
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  4. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fresh air circulation is nessesary. Candling frequently can also cause some issues. As far as automating temperature and humidity, I have that control in my ultra-bator project which can be seen HERE. Also, here is the link to my cooler-bator.
     
  5. Smidoid

    Smidoid Out Of The Brooder

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    Indeed, fresh air is a must.

    This is something I've been considering myself - although my current 'bator design (the one I'm running right now) pushes too much air even with the fan running just above stall speed. This is clearly a cock-up on my part. It doesn't help that the room its in varies in temperature from 15 to 22C over a 24 hour period.

    AIR CIRC
    MarineCorpFarmr - you seem to be using an air "stirrer" rather than a blower; is that correct?

    I'm curious on this one because it seems to me that a powerful blower (especially in a randomly shaped box) would be as bad (if not worse) than no blower at all.

    CANDLING
    As for candling - I wonder if a flashgun might be more effective than a candling lamp; the problem with this approach would be that it requires an operator with a camera set on "bulb". A modern digital SLR would be perfect, but most of us don't have them, of course.

    The point with a flash, apart from being extremely intense and capable of shining through most (if not all) shell types - is that it's essentially cold.

    OTHER STUFF

    One area I'm looking at is a fresh air "bubbler" - think of a bong that folk use to smoke weed (or so I'm told) or perhaps a fish tank air pump. A small amount of non-flammable antibac in the water could prevent or reduce airborne bacteria from entering through the fresh vent and still.

    This is all just guesswork right now - for discussion. The great thing here is that no one can patent anything we come up with because this discussion counts as prior art.
     
  6. MarineCorpFarmr

    MarineCorpFarmr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two fans that run 24/7. The one in the top blows across the heat source then down the back of the cab. The other one keeps the air moving blowing up eliminating cooler air at the bottom.
    Has kept my temps dead even everywhere in the cab. The now heating fan was the original cooling fan(blew over the coils) the other was the compressor fan. What i use for candling is simply a mini maglight led. Near zero heat and bright as crap. lol @ bong comment btw, but thats more of a hush hush thing here. I have 2 vents each 1" in diameter as of now. The new controller I will be installing has an overheat cooling feature. I plan to take advantage if that with a pair of pc fans and a flapper vent. Ill be using air filter to cover both vents. I have left an open drain in the bottom as well for cleaning / sanitizing.
     
  7. mulia24

    mulia24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Emm.... I think that you're going to create a Super Bator.. :D

    You can make transparent bator to make it easy to watch candling process from outside, perhaps using accrylic or glass.

    Put high powered (but still cool) LED bulb with single direction at the bottom of each egg.

    Put automatic turner inside, give it electronic circuit and RAM memory, program it using computer and several programming language.

    Put exhaust fan to circulate air.

    Put thermohygro, give it electronic circuit and RAM memory and program it to increase/decrease temp and humidity by connecting it to heater and humidifier :-s .

    Emm...

    We got a Super Bator.. :)

    I love this idea.

    Pardon me if I do any mistake. :)
     
  8. Smidoid

    Smidoid Out Of The Brooder

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    I like the one Marine Corp is running - certainly seems to do the job.

    We have a saying in computing design - KISS - Keep It Simple Silly (or something like that); and Occam's Razor in logic which says the simplest answer is usually the right one.

    That said I think we can improve some of these things - although Marine is definitely getting his money's worth.

    The simplest answer for me is to get a Silkie hen and get her to do the work. ;-)

    The other issue - and one of greater import to many of us remote workers - is getting eggs via the mail.

    Now this is troublesome as so many eggs are damaged in transit - I wonder if this is worth discussing in this thread of another one?
     
  9. Smidoid

    Smidoid Out Of The Brooder

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    Ah. A friend of mind sends this clip - not sure if everyone can see it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p010jxjg

    A lightbulb dropped from space - which falls at 700MPH - and survives.

    Now that's the way to protect the eggs we're shipping (or having shipped to us).
     
  10. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    I still doubt that system would protect eggs from USPS handling!
     

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