Help !! Homemade incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 4HAnnette, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. 4HAnnette

    4HAnnette In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2012
    My daughter has made a homemade incubator for a 4H project.
    She has used a 72 gallon fish tank. Puppy training pads line the bottom, fresh straw on top of that. Covered with cardboard on the top with a hole cut for the 250 watt brooder lamp. The temp went to 104 degrees directly under the lamp. So moved it to an end and are taking temp from opposite end of the aquarium. It is about 95 degrees at the opposite end. We wrapped the aquarium with tinfoil as well to try and stabilize the temp. We were looking for the temp of 100 degrees.
    Have any other ideas? We also played around with 100 watt bulb, but temp only went to 88 degrees. 200 watt took it to 95 degrees.
    We will let it set for the day,
    Any other ideas? Perhaps I should look for a slightly smaller lamp? and then reset it to the middle of the tank?
    Should the eggs be directly under the lamp? for a consistent temp?

    Thank you for any ideas you have.
    Mary Ann and Annette.

  2. KBlue

    KBlue Songster

    Apr 21, 2011
    Katy, TX
    I'd put the lamp in the middle and the eggs toward the sides, though make sure the temps are consistant around 100deg where the eggs will be sitting. Besides the tin foil, you could also wrap the sides in an old blanket or towel. That should help insulate.

    You may also be able to fashion an incubator from one of those styrofoam coolers made for tailgating.

    Good luck, I hope it works!
  3. 4HAnnette

    4HAnnette In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2012
    Ok... went and purchased a 175 W red heating lamp.. lets see what degrees this one goes to. :) "crossing my wings"... lol
  4. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    If you aren't setting a large number of eggs, then a smaller space with a smaller lightbulb would be easier to maintain and heat. I use 10 gallon fish tanks and have a very successful incubator that I made from an old Pot and a 40 watt incandescent light bulb.

    Instead of one really big heat source try using one or two or even three small ones spread around the tank. I like to use incandescent light bulbs because they put off less heat and are more easily adjustable.

    Bubble wrap makes a very cheap and easy insulation for the glass tanks. Wrap the tank one layer at a time and wait for the temperature to stabilize so that you know what temperature the incubator holds at that layer. keep this up until it is at the correct temperature. Styrofoam is also a good insulator.

    Good luck in your incubator building and I hope you are able to get things figured out. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

  5. sheboyganjohn

    sheboyganjohn In the Brooder

    Jan 4, 2012
    Sheboygan, WI
    Another thing to remember is heat rises, so if you have a very tall inside, you will have all the heat at the top, try dropping down the top to force the heat down. Also be careful with the straw in there, it is rather flamable to have by a heat source.
  6. 4HAnnette

    4HAnnette In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2012
    Ok.. so I went and found a 100 watt brooding lamp :) We are in business now. 12 little Buff Orpingtons are setting in there growing cell by cell as of 8pm mst. Annette is very excited and keeps going in to look at them. She has documented every change that was made and has started her presentation with some great family pics.
    Thank you , everyone that has helped us with ideas. We are crossing our wings, erm fingers.
  7. matlock585

    matlock585 Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    White Bluff, TN
    I'm glad to hear you two got it worked out. I kept looking for you on the other thread and when you weren't posting I decided to hunt you down.
    Stop back by and let us know how it's going. If she's ever interested in making one with a thermostat there are plenty of threads on here explaining that wiring process. It's very easily done and doesn't require soldering or really any skill. My thermometer/hygrometer, thermostat,and pc fan cost me about 25 bucks. Every thing else I needed I already had around the house.

  8. 4HAnnette

    4HAnnette In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2012
    Thank you for checking up on us.. very kind.

    She will be doing a speech presentation on how she made her incubator and explaining her end results for 4H Public Speaking.
    It is a good experience for her and I am looking forward to the end results as well.
    We will keep in touch :)
    Mary Ann & Annette.
    1 person likes this.

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