Fresh air in incubator???


9 Years
Nov 30, 2010
Edgefield county South Carolina
My Coop
My Coop
I have a homemade incubator and am wondering if there are guidellines as to how much fresh air should be introduced into it during incubation. I have 2, 3/4 inch holes in the bottom and 1, 1/2 hole in the top. The top is maybe a more positive pressure because of my air flow arrangement. This is a topic that I have not seen discussed much, but I expect air requirements to go up as the chicks develope. Any guesses as to how much flow we should have, and how to know if I have enough!!
How large is your incubator?

I have a home built that I think I have the same issue with.

Mine is 16 x 36 x 16.

Low & long.

I have four 1" holes along the front top & two 3/4" holes - one on each side where the turner handle goes through.

I'm on my second batch & hope I learned from the first patch.

One question that came up was air flow.

I think I have the humidity issues whipped. But when I was running 60 eggs - there is a real chance they didn't have enough air - I only hatched 17 of the original 58 (but 10 were duds).

In any case - I think before I try hatch #3 I'd like to cypher more on how to bring in outside air & not chill the eggs.

I've seen the larger bators have a false wall where the cold & hot air are mixed & heated before it goes into the main body of the bator. I'm not sure that would work well with my design.
Duhh! That would work great for me. My design has false walls on both sides! I am bringing my air in thru the front now, but that would be an easy mod. Then I could open the inlet until I ran into temp or humidity problems. Thanks Midget!! Mine is 3 feet tall, 2 feet wide and 16 inches deep, set up for Little giant turners. .............stan
Here are some pics of mine - Because of the long & low stance I have great temp control. Especially with the computer fan in there.

But my fresh air may be a problem for large hatches.


The copper tube in this pic is so I can add water during lock down (or any other time) with out opening the incubator.


Here is a pic with the turner in place.


The water trays have been replaced by paint trays. They provide much better control of the humidity. The deeper the water in the paint tray the higher up the sloped bottom it goes - the more surface area so more humidity.

Here is a pic of the bator loaded for my first hatch.

I really think I need a lot more air if I'm going to do large hatches like this again.
I started to worry about my homemade incubator not getting enough air, so I checked out my LG styrofoam incubator. I has only 14 very small(1/8) air holes and the two(1/2) holes with plugs. I believe the automatic eggs turner can hold 40 some eggs.

At lockdown the two 1/2 holes will be plugged to raise the humidity level, so apparently the 14 small(1/8) holes supply enough air for up to 42 eggs to survive.
thats good to know - thank you.

I believe I am doing OK with the 8 eggs that are cooking now.

Its entirely possible my issues last time were 100% humidity related - or because they were shipped eggs in the dead of winter. Who knows.

But despite my 4 large holes - I don't really have any cross ventilation.
yeah maybe put a fan on the bottom side drawing fresh air in through a small hole, and one on the top side, blowing hot air through a few holes, i dont know if this would help or if it would compromise the temp too much

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