Help me reconfigure my bator please :)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by scoopy82, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. scoopy82

    scoopy82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is basically the bator that hatched 4 chicks, minus the water container and the draw liner the eggs sat on, oh and the thermometre and hygrometer. It worked well enough to get the chicks through the final 3 days until they hatched (rescued from their killer broody mother), but it really needs some help as I wish to incubate eggs from woah to go - yes I have been bitten by the hatching bug and am now addicted. I have a fan and a reptile thermostat to add and was wondering if anyone can suggest the best places to add these and what direction they should be facing. The thermostat unit sits outside the bator and a probe lives inside to detect the temperature.
    [​IMG]
    There are four vent holes - 2 on the wall on the right 3/4 of the way up the wall and about 1/2 inch wide, and two the same size on the bottom of the top and bottom walls in the same area as the light. I can plug these when needed or fill them permanently and make new air vents if anyone thinks they should be put somewhere else.
    Any idea's or recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    That looks really similar to mine. I made my vent holes about the size of a wine cork so I can plug them with a cork - works great! For mine, my engineer DH suggested the set up, which included having the fan opposite the light. He wanted the fan to draw fresh air in from a vent hole located near it, and circulate while being warmed by the light. That worked okay - held temps/humidity perfectly and we hatched some chicks - however he has re-thought this and now says he wants to reconfigure it so that the fan is blowing over the light. So I would suggest you try to do it this way from the get go.

    I also used a reptile thermostat and used it the same way you suggested. The unit stayed outside, and the probe was inside. You can just see it in the pic. Because we had so many cords - thermostat probe, fan, light - he fixed the little basket to the outside of the incubator to hold them all.

    I also fashioned a shield out of an old foil pie tin, just to shield the chicks from the bright light.

    Where in Victoria are you from? (I'm from Melb but now living in the US)
    [​IMG]
     
  3. NicoleRM

    NicoleRM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a digital reptile thermostat on my fridgebator. I put the probe inside a water wiggler and set it to 100 degrees, that way I am regulating based on the egg temp instead of the air temp. I put the probe for my thermometer in there too, that way I can get "inside the egg" temp readings.
     
  4. rickerra

    rickerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I would mount the fan in the middle of the wall up higher than the light blowing out over the wire shelf. Make sure you space the fan an inch or so off the cooler wall. The fan will draw and blow the warm rising air off the light across the cooler. And having the fan centered blowing down the middle should give you pretty even circulation/temps in a rectangular cooler (does for me). Be sure to put some sort of shield between the light bulb and the wire shelf. Put your t-stat probe near where the eggs will be at the same level as the eggs will rest. Or as mentioned, you could put the probe in a water weasel or fake egg for an "inside egg" temp. I would also use an egg carton to hold the eggs and a prop to lean the carton. So when you "turn the eggs" you can just rotate the carton 180 and put it back on the prop to lean it. I would also fill the remaining space with jars of water (with lids on them) for thermal mass. You can also use rocks or bricks... but be aware that porous bricks might wick some of the humidity out of the box. Thermal mass will help the bator keep a constant temp and hold temp better when opening the hatch.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. scoopy82

    scoopy82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all - some great suggestions!!!
    I just found 2 champagne corks to plug the vent holes - i was just using cotton wool and the corks look heaps better and fit perfectly [​IMG]
    HEChicken - I'm in a nice little town called Kyneton, halfway between Melbourne and Bendigo so pretty much central VIC.
    I ummed and ahhed about putting a fan in, but discovered it was probably necessary in my bator as there is a fair difference between the temp close to the light and furthest end. Its just an old computer fan and I finally found a 12V unit to hook it too so hopefully it will work nicely.
    I dont think there is enough room to put the fan above the light, so I think I might mount it next to the light and centre it like rickerra suggested. That makes sense to me too.
    I will have to buy a pie to keep the tin case to use as a light shield, i think that would make it look super special! Cant wait to put it all together now [​IMG]
    Thanks again for the suggestions and if anyone else has some different ideas feel free to add [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I will add pic's when it is done [​IMG]
     
  6. scoopy82

    scoopy82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 19, 2010
    Victoria - Australia!
    Oh and I do have stacks of room in near the light - so I will add a few jars of water. I think the next thing i have to work on is designing a method of turning the eggs from the outside . . . I'm thinking a tray with a pole underneath that sticks out the end that i can turn . . . I'll have to work on that one [​IMG]
     
  7. rickerra

    rickerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I too originally was going to use a turner. In my incubator you can see taped over holes where I originally had inserted a piece of PVC pipe laying across the wire shelf. To the pipe I attached the egg carton which will hold the eggs. I could then easily rock the carton back and forth without opening the lid. I'd bet this would have worked fine too.

    But I decided I wanted to rotate the eggs to better ensure that the poor egg closest to the light didn't cook more than all the others. Then I read that someone else kept the eggs in the carton and just rotated it 180 and propped it back up facing the light/fan. So that is what I decided to do. The carton is always leaning towards the light and fan and will only require a simple 180 rotate to "turn" the eggs back and forth. The 10 secs it will take to open the lid and rotate the carton won't phase the temps in my box at all.

    If you have consistent temps across the wire shelf, I doubt it matters one way or another.

    Cheers!
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Quote:Oh Kyneton is lovely - lucky you!
    Quote:Oh, don't go out and buy one specially! I was just lucky to have one in my recycling anyway. If I hadn't, I would have just used a sheet of aluminium foil, and bent it around the hardware cloth barrier. I may end up doing that anyway, to block the light from both sides of my barrier.
     
  9. rebel yell

    rebel yell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In a bator that size I have my light & fan mounted in the top with the fan blowing down that way the air is spreading out all over the bator & there is no way to have any cool spots in it any where & it always works great.
     
  10. scoopy82

    scoopy82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:But thats a really good excuse to eat pie!!!!
    And Kyneton has been a little soggy of late - we live on the campaspe river that has flooded 3 times this summer, lucky just some damaged fences for us, although there were times where I thought I might have to build the hens an ark!

    Back to the bator - I figure I can alter the positions of the lights and fan if I find where I have put it isn't working/efficient enough, and I have also been given 2 small bar fridges that are built into a cupboard. If I make a mess of the styro box, then I will move onto the little fridges. I also have a large fridge that no longer works - but I am trying to do myself (and my marriage!) a favour and keep it small scale so I dont end up with a trillion chooks and a divorce [​IMG]
    Thanks for all the input people, much appreciated [​IMG]

    Rickerra - that actually sounds like a great idea! Could i perhaps put a wedge of wood up the far end from the light, then put the cartons on a tray and turn the whole tray 180 degrees 2 or 3 times a day . . . that sounds like a plan! And if it doesn't work I can try the other way with the pole and rocking side to side.

    This bator is all about learning what works and what doesn't [​IMG] And I know I will find out one way or another [​IMG]
     

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