DIY Incubator - Specs and ??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jrfadfarm, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. jrfadfarm

    jrfadfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Hello! We are new to chickens and incubation. We are wanting to incubate the few eggs we've collected. We've made a small incubator out of a Styrofoam cooler (small). In it we have - from bottom up - a wet paper towel, a toaster oven rack, thermometer that measures humidity as well as heat, small bottle of water, large rock, sponges, and a 10 w bulb.

    We've finally gotten the temp to hit about 97 (which we need it to reach 99-100, right?) and the humidity about 67 (currently).

    We need those few extra degrees and im looking for the best solid item, safe for an incubator to retain heat. We do not want to spend any more money.

    I've just put a small ball of aluminum foil in as well, will this help? Any suggestions??
     
  2. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm doing one too! https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/949818/my-basic-diy-incubator
    This is my first time trying this, too!
    With still air, most people suggest 100-101F on top of the eggs. If you're having trouble getting the temp up or it keeps dropping, try turning up the heat a tiny bit in the room it's in. I've also gotten luck putting a little piece of cardboard over my viewing window for a few minutes. I'd also reduce the humidity below 55 until lockdown (as suggested to me by the ever helpful BYC members).
    I'm new at this too, so I can't offer a whole lot of help, but this is working for me so far!
    http://www.raising-happy-chickens.com/incubate-chicken-eggs.html This site also has some good information! They have advice for every single day, as well as candling pictures at every day of incubation to show what is going on inside the egg (though they strongly suggest not candling often)!
    Good luck!
     
  3. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might try a bigger bulb to get the temp up, and your humidity is way to high it needs to in the 40's as a high for the first 18 days. As the chick grows the air cell needs to grow also and with high humidity it won't, you can't get the growth you need. For the chick to hatch it must first break thru the membrane into the air cell to start breathing before it breaks out of the shell.After 18 days then you bring your humidity up for the last 3 days or lock down.
     
  4. Shaneb99

    Shaneb99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Switch to a 25 Watt refrigerator bulb. You can get 1 at a dollar store. Take out the wet paper towel for now as well as the tin foil, water bottle and rock. You don't need any of that stuff in there and none of it produces heat, you need to get the heat up. You can also try putting a towel or small blanket over top of the cooler to provide more insulation. As tori said if you don't have a fan you need the temp up to about 101.
     
  5. jrfadfarm

    jrfadfarm Out Of The Brooder

    We haven't put any eggs in yet, because we are trying to make sure we've got the temp stabilized. I will try these suggestions now. :)
     
  6. jrfadfarm

    jrfadfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Lockdown? My husband has researched this mostly, but im at home, so i need to know terms too. :) SO - put them in, turn them 3 times a day, for 18 days. then after that, dont open until they are out of their shells? and yes, i know, dont help them, breaking out of their shell is their first test of strength. :)
     
  7. jrfadfarm

    jrfadfarm Out Of The Brooder

    THANK YOU!!! I LOVE this site you referred. its very helpful! :)
     
  8. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're very welcome! :) Happy hatching! [​IMG]
     
  9. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right turn them for 18 days then stop turning and bring the humidity up so that they don't shrink wrap after they pip. shrink wrap is when the membrane just inside the shell dry's out and sticks to the chick not allowing them to finish hatching. If you get your humidity up to 55-60 before the first one hatches you should be fine. Once the first one hatches the humidity will go up on its own.
    Also if your cooler is air tight you will need to add a hole some where for ventilation, it doesn't need to be big I might just stick a pencil through the side and make sure it's open. You might have to rethink the oven rack for lockdown, It will work fine for the first 18 days but could be hard for new chicks walk on without falling through.
     
  10. jrfadfarm

    jrfadfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Is turning three times a day the minimum? Should i do more?

    Just put a batch of 4 eggs in - retreival dates (oldest first) Jan 26 (10-11 days old), Jan 30 ( 6-7 days old), Feb 2 (3 days old), Feb 4 (1 day old).
     

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