Finished the bator... :D

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Bettacreek, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    Well, after fifty-million questions posted here, I finally managed to pull something together. I don't have pics, but I can get some later. It's nothing pretty, as I had to improvise on some things, but, it's holding temp and seems to be alright.

    I couldn't find any thermostats that I could find at my local Lowes that would have worked and that I could afford, and I've got eggs on the way, so I had to do something. So, I got a dimmer. I have an external thermometer (actually, two, one's digital, the other is a tube type one) so that I can mark off the dimmer to let me know how much to move it per degree. The external thermometers are helping me to figure out how much the temp change in the incubator is due to external temperature changes and how much is because of the change from the dimmer. I actually have high hopes for it.

    The box is a styrofoam box that I had fish shipped in (I think my angelfish came in that box, but I may have had the husband's wolf fish arrive in it, who knows...). I cut two windows, one on the top, one in the side. The top one is extremely small (maybe 3x3?) but I can use it to check on back eggs, though not easily (the incubator is against a sloped ceiling, so I can't really get my head back there easily anyways). The front one is maybe 6x7, and much easier to view through. I had to improvise for the windows, MAJORLY improvise. The windows themselves are made of binder sleeves (cheap ones that the dollar store used to package my glassware that I bought a few weeks ago, but they're SUPER clear and sturdy). I taped them on, but I used postage stickers (Express mail) because I ran out of tape... lol. I then filled four more of these things up with, *cough* scratch grain. I used scratch grain because I didn't have anything else to be honest. I would have preferred to use sand, but, with $1 in my pocket, I again had to improvise. Anyways, I filled them up and put them on the bottom of the bator, sealed. one bag was less full, to accomodate room for my sponges for humidity. The egg crate is on top of these bags, but it doesn't cover the entire "floor", so I still have room in there. The heat source is my most expensive piece of equipment, but I had it here already, so it was used. It's a long piece of Flexwatt heat tape, originally bought to make a rack system for the ball pythons here, but, they're only a year old and nowhere near breeding age, so I won't need a rack for another 2 years, thus, I don't need the heat tape for another two years. I'm actually thinking of getting more of it for the next incubator (I want to eventually have a hatching incubator, lol). It seems to be working extremely well, plus I won't worry as much about chickies burning themselves on it versus a light bulb. Anyways, that was pre-wired from the place I bought it from, so I just plugged it into the dimmer. I cut a tiny wedge out of the top of the bator for the wire to come through. I'll have to get pictures later, but, honestly, it seems to be working fairly well. My room temperature variations seem to be 4F, but that's over a 24 hour period, and should be easy to work with once I figure out exactly how much I need to move the dimmer to change the temp inside the bator one degree.

    Now, I need to make a tiny hole in the side for some airline tubing to keep the dish with the sponge wet without opening the bator.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  2. chantecler

    chantecler Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. hollyk

    hollyk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Canton, Texas
    Impressive! [​IMG] I have been thinking of doing one of my own. You have inspired me. Right now I am using the bator I borrowed from our county extension agent. He does egg projects with the local teachers. Being in 4H, he could let me use it too.
     
  4. Bettacreek

    Bettacreek Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 7, 2009
    Central Pennsyltucky
    I was actually surprised at how easy it is to make one. Granted, I also didn't have to do any wiring or anything, with the plug-in dimmer. The dimmer will make the operation a little more "labor-intensive", but it made for really easy construction, lol. I'm just about done with figuring out how much a degree is on the dimmer, so then I'll have a few days to dry run it and keep it at exact temperature. [​IMG] By the end of Wednesday, I should have eggs in it. [​IMG]
     

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