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Feedback on my homemade incubator - will it work?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jasonslater, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. jasonslater

    jasonslater Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2011
    Hi

    Incubating for the first time and due to the high prices here in the UK for equipment, and because i'm keep to have a go and make something better than i could afford, i've tried building my own. Have done some research, youtube and the odd chapter in "Incubation - A Guide to Hatching and Rearing by Katie Thear.

    What do people think?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This made from Chip board mainly with a MDF front and glass top. Did hear that MDF can give off a possibly harmful............odour ???

    I've equipped with a ATC 800+ thermostat keeps the temp to within 1 degree, so it fluctuates between 37 to 38 deg C

    It has two 40w light bulbs with a tin foil reflector underneath each so the eggs are not subjected to direct heat.

    It also has a Lucky Reptile LTH-32 thermometer and Hydrometer which tells me at the moment that the incubator is 37 degrees and 53% humidity

    The inside is cover in heat reflective silver film, the idea is t reflect the heat all around so there is consistent temperature all around.

    I've also made a wire rack out of stainless steal rods from a BBQ rack, and an egg turner.

    I have a small lid with about 5ml of water in. It seems to keep humidity at around things 49 - 54% usually 53%

    There are 2 10mm air holes in the front at the top, and i've also left the front ajar by a couple of mm as the incubators humidity was rising to the mid 60s, just concerned that there isnt enough air circulating, other accounts talk about lost of water being required.

    Any feedback would be greatly received.
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Good job!! I built one, too, this summer and actually hatched a few. SO i'm no expert.

    You can use a fan to help move the air--though that is equipment and an added expense.

    If you use a no-fan system as you currently have, the 2 10mm holes are for ventilation aka air flow. the Eggs need air flow to receive oxygen and remove other waste gases. This increase as the eggs approach the hatching date. You may want more holes and cover and uncover as needed. The temperature often increases as the chicks start producing their own heat and add to the internal temp of the incubator.

    You are right that the eggs need to loose moisture. THis is very important. Try googling" Size of air cell on 7th, 14th and 18th day of incubation" for a good diagram for candling. This is to determine the correct moisture loss during incubation. Some people weigh the eggs for 12-15% weight loss. You can also use the search for this. The humidity may be too high; IMO it is too high, but perhaps you area needs to be higher; most people seem to have better luck with much lower %RH. You will need to do some research on this and follow your best judgement.

    Moisture loss is a function of a couple factors. Fan or no fan. Rate of ventilation. The final judgment is the moisture loss from the egg.

    Look for pete55's thread--very good details. A must read.

    THat's my 2 cents. GOod luck. Keep a notebook of all the details. IT is VERY useful. GL.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  3. jasonslater

    jasonslater Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2011
    Good to here from a fellow bodger.

    Yes the air flow is of most concern, was thinking of more holes but i got impatient and put the eggs in, so added to the ventilation by leaving a gap in the door.

    I did weigh each egg once laid and will be checking on weight loss at day 10 and calculate its projected loss day 19. The book i have states 11-13% loss so based on a 56g egg i'm hoping for a weight at day 10 of 53-52g a loss of between 10.17% - 13.57%

    What to avoid a fan if possible extra running costs.
     
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    [​IMG] I think your incubator looks great and well thought out. The Ideal temperature is 37.5ºC so 37ºC to 38ºC is perfect. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Not able to add holes even with the eggs in? You will like the control of covering and uncovering the extra holes.

    Is the weight loss of 11-13% at day 10??? Sorry , lost me on the numbers. Not too hard to do at the end of the day!
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I don't know if you could do something like this.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. jasonslater

    jasonslater Out Of The Brooder

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    Cmom - that a big one!! how many eggs does that hold? Like you i want to put some holes towards the base of the incubator which would disturb the eggs too much so will wait until the next batch.

    Arielle - no that is the ideal range at day 19. You probably already have your own way of doing it but according to the book i quoted the equation goes something like this:

    % weight loss at (day 10) = (day 0 egg weight) minus (day 10 egg weight) divided by (day 0 egg weight) X (100)

    Average daily loss = (% weight loss (day 10) divided by (10 days)

    Projected 19 day loss = (average daily loss) X (19)

    so...

    56 - 53 = 3

    3 '/, 56 = 0.05357143

    0.05357143 x 100 = 5.35714286 (aka % weight loss at day 10)

    5.35714286 '/, 10 = 0.535714286 (aka average daily loss)

    0.535714286 x 19 = 10.18

    I would recommend doing the calculations prior to weighing so you know what you are looking for in any given egg because as i found a gram difference is quite a lot and without super accurate scales it might be above or below the magic 11-13 % mark. I tried it based on 7 days but would have been a 53g weight so a loss of 3g would result in a 14.54% loss at day 19 or the same 56g egg weighing 54g so a loss of 2g would result in a 9.69% loss at day 19. So a much larger margin for error.

    hope that makes sense?
     
  8. jasonslater

    jasonslater Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2011
    Would love to see more home made incubators for comparison, maybe snatch some ideas for the mark 2 model.
     
  9. jasonslater

    jasonslater Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2011
    So far so good, at day 6 now and candled and weighed yesterday, but early to tell but did notice blood vessels in all 8 eggs and mainly on target for weight loss.

    Is it normal not to have a clearly defined air sack at this time?

    Would also like more feedback. I don't seem to be going through much water, how much water should i be replacing. I only have about 10ml in for a 24hour period before it runs dry and need topping up. I'm regulating humidity by opening and closing a small gap in the door in addition to the two 10mm holes.

    Should i have more water more ventilation?
     

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