Homemade bator builders come here! Need to pick your brains!


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
I want to make a cabinet-style incubator. A friend was giving me some lumber. I thought he said it was plywood, but it turns out that it's 1/4" paneling. Would this be okay to use for the cabinet? I can get some foam sheeting for insulation, I figured I'd need that anyway.

I'm also planning to use a ceramic heat emitter, are these a fire hazard like the heat light bulbs?

The plan is to make this thing big enough to hold several eggs but small enough so I can use my hovabator turners. These are 19" x 19", so the outside dimensions (depth and width) would be 21". What's a good height to have between each rack? I'll have other racks (at least 1 but probably 2) in addition to the 2 with auto turners, one for hand-turning and one for hatching.

I don't know what else to ask, any suggestions would be helpful.
I hope you have studied this thread?? https://www.backyardchickens.com/chicken-coop-incubator.html . Lots of good ideas. I am on my first hatch, holding temps and humidity great, after it setteled out. had some initial humidity problems, but in great shape now. Mine is 3/4 inch plywood. Great insulation factor. I would think 1/4 inch would maybe be enough insulation depending on you room temp and your heat source. My concern would be stability. you will need to build a frame if you use the 1/4 inch. The heat emmitter will not be a fire hazard at 100 degs. You should look into a fan for sure with a bator that size. Temp monitor/ thermostat is another critical area you did not mention. How are you going to control your heat soruce? .....stan

Missed the rack question. Just room enough between them for the eggs to turn is all that is needed, assuming you are going to have a hatching rack. My design is 6 inches because I had enough room . Mine is built from a shipping crate, 3 X 2 X 1 1/2.
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The thermostat I will be using is the repti temp 500r. http://www.reptilesupply.com/product.php?products_id=75

I did check the incubators section of the learning center but most of them are cooler-bators or they use regular light bulbs. I will have this thing in the same room where my buttons live and I don't think they'd like having lights constantly turning on and off

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