Heat Source for DIY Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by txcarl1258, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2010
    After looking at the many DIY incubators I wanted to ask everyone what heat source they prefer. I have seen the heating elements from GQF with the porcelain housings and I have also seen a lot of light bulbs used for heat. Which one provides the most consistent heat source of does it really depend on the size and setup of your bator? Any help would be appreciated.
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Ya need to know what thermostat ya want to use first. If you use a water heater thermostat then you need to use a light bulb. http://cmfarm.us/WHTincubator.html

    you use a wafer then you have more options like ceramic heat emitters, heat coils, heat pads or even hair dryers.
  3. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2010
    I am leaning toward the wafer thermostat. I am not electrically inclined to modify the water heater thermostat to use a light bulb. I really don't like the idea of a light bulb, but wanted everyone's opinion on what they prefer. My bator shell is made of aluminum, so I don't think holding heat would be an issue. Its previous use was as a baker proofer. Still toying with the idea. Want to have everything in order before I start ordering the parts for it.
  4. Surehatch

    Surehatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2009
    A wafer thermostat and two light bulbs should do the trick
  5. rebel yell

    rebel yell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    i had a better hatch in my homemade bator running a light bulb & a waffer thromastat than i did with my lg with a solid state thromstat & heating element.
  6. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Quote:You don't have to modify anything. The link I posted explains using a water heater thermostat. But its more about what you want to use than anything. Almost any thermostat an heat source can work.
  7. Matti94

    Matti94 New Egg

    May 13, 2013
    I found that building a very good chicken incubator really is not as hard as it seems. I built one using a cooler, it turns the eggs once every hour and is very consistent wit heating. I'm not much of a wiring smith but I can do the basics, their will be a lot of wires but just wire one thing at a time make sure everything works and cover exposing wire with tape or be lazy and push it off to the side. I am in the process of hatching 10 eggs and will be taking apart that incubator to make a new better one. all ways make changes you will most likely find many better ways of doing it so make it so you can easily make changes to improve upon. I bought a motor to turn the eggs which was about $20 or 18 something like that and a thermostat bi-metal one fairly accurate I wish I would have spent a little more and bought a wafer one! but its too late. I believe I have the best DIY incubator that only costs about $50 + or- a little depending where you get your materials. to get a accurate temp of eggs inside, take a oral thermometer put it in a small container of water at the same level of your incubating eggs, that will be very accurate. I have taken pictures but I would rather send or post them after I rebuild it to show how great it can be, the new design will be capable of incubating 30 + or- and be much more constant with temp because it will have much more installation. the one thing that will be hard to control is humidity, I know salt water will evaporate until the surrounding air is at a perfect 75% humidity used to calibrate humidifiers for typically for cigars: I believe for chicken eggs its supposed to be 50 or 60%. I plan on re building in about a month or two then I will post pictures somewhere to show. I hope this helps, I use a inferred light but I plan on experimenting with a hair dryer to see how that works. the light doesn't hurt the chicks of it turning on and off, the can even sleep with it on while babies, I hope this helps Matt
  8. IncubatorWarehouse.com

    IncubatorWarehouse.com Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2009
    Fruitland, ID
    That's a great question that we get a lot here. We recommend running a light bulb test. What this does is it helps you find what amount of wattage to run for the volume of space that it's heating. It's a cheap way to find the right amount of wattage.
    Start by using a 40 watt light bulb and see if it reaches your desired temperature inside your incubator, if not move up the wattage until you find the right amount that doesn't shoot much higher than your desired temperature.
    I don't recommend using a light bulb in your incubator though. They are bulky and they tend to have a higher heat density than other heat sources available. This means it stays hot longer after turning off and takes longer to heat up. This creates a wider temperature range, which generally leads to lower hatch rates.
    For this reason many people prefer our IncuKits. There are different models with varying wattage and all use elements that use low heat density heating elements. The IncuKit DC for example has 4 10-watt ceramic heaters. It's great for smaller incubators. It heats up quickly and cools down quickly, creating a tight temperature range which helps to increase your hatch rate. You can read more about them here.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  9. danielkbrantley

    danielkbrantley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    I realize this is something of an ad for your stuff, and it's a two-year old post, but your products look really cool. I was planning to piece together an incubator with a CPU fan, etc., but methinks I'm gonna go with your incukit. Guess posting in forums does work! Hahaha...
  10. wglewis

    wglewis New Egg

    May 31, 2016
    I made a simple incubator and seems to be working fine. I used a light socket with a dimmer switch and digital thermometer. Other than the thermometer and dimmer switch everything came from the dollar store. I spent little over 10.00. I put it together played with it testing it for 24hours it now maintains at 100.0 degrees. I checked my eggs they seem to be kicking and will hatch in a few days hopefully.

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