Homemade Incubator - Picture Heavy

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BirdBrain, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    We built a bator and thought we would share our pictures.

    We started with a cooler that we had received a shipment of meat in. We cut a whole in the top for a double window made out of plexiglass. We cut a groove on each side of the lid for the plexiglass to sit down into. We then used caulk and duct tape to seal it up.


    Then we set about constructing a turner





    We installed a wafer thermostat and a computer fan and found a rack that would work


    Looks like the turner fits and will work


    We ran all the wiring inside the bator through plastic conduit so the kids wouldn't get shocked if they decided to go excavating. We also added vent holes and a tube to add water. We used a 60 watt bulb behind a foil shield (bottom of a lasagna pan) and added a peanut butter jar full of water to act as a heat sink. Our Water wiggler is actually an egg filled with hair gel and sealed with hot glue and the temp probe inside. We call it the "fake egg'.



    Our bator is holding very steady. We added a couple of scientific thermometers to see if the digital one was accurate. We calibrated the hygrometer and found it read 4% points lower than actual and the thermometer is pretty close.
  2. buckeye lady

    buckeye lady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Rootstown Ohio
    WOW!!!!! Great Job! [​IMG]
    Please us posted on your progress and hatch results..[​IMG]
  3. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    Very cool! Do you know aprox how much money you spent on the project?
  4. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Chicken Obsessed

    Oct 16, 2008
    I like your turner idea..
  5. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    If it had been just me building this thing it would have cost a lot less...but my DH got involved...and bought a heavy duty computer cooling fan and wanted to "build it to code" with conduit and junction boxes. I bought a digital thermometer/hygrometer (unnecessary as I had on hand two scientific thermometers and could have used those). They are more accurate than the digital anyway. Between several trips to the store to locate supplies, I have no good idea how much it costs, but will try to reconstruct my spending when I do an incubator page. The thermostat and wafer (with shipping) were around 22-23 dollars. The fan I could have harvested out of an old computer, but DS would have none of that. The rack in the bottom was left over shelving. We will put in a lasagna pan lined with non-skid shelf liner (both on hand) for the hatch. We bought a 10 foot piece of 1/2 inch pvc pipe for conduit and turner frame as well as 2 plastic junction boxes and a shallow metal "box" for the light fixture to go on. Oh yeah, we bought a ceramic light fixture ($1.80). We also used 2-3 yards each of black and red wire (on hand) and about 12-14 inches of an old heavy duty extension cord. To this we added a male plug ($2-3?) and it is what you see sticking out the end in the second to last picture.

    We found a heavy 15 foot extension cord on sale at Christmas ($12 ?) and that runs from the bator to the uninterrupted power supply and then into the wall outlet. We had one that is supposed to be connected to my computer but when the power outages started, the eggs too priority. I bought 3 feet of clear tubing for the humidity control as well as "sleeves" for the 4 inch toggle bolts I used to offset the fan and anchor it to the wall. I used some clear plastic (heavier than a milk jug) that I cut out of a disposable container to protect the Styrofoam from the bolts for the fan and the thermostat (fan needed one inside and outside and the thermostat needed one only on the outside).

    The plexiglass windows measured 19 x 11 inches and were a donation from a local glass shop. We told them that we homeschooled and had an incubation project going and wondered if they had any scrap that would meet our needs for the project. His quote: "Anything to further education" and it was ready the next day. As a thank you I gave him a small basket of homemade soap that I had made as Christmas gifts. The loud duct tape came from Wal-mart over a year ago.

    That is all I can think of right now. I hope that helps.

    I got the idea for the turner from Speckedhen and Gopherboy...from there I looked for what I had available and came up with it from there.
  6. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    WOW!!!!!!! I started making a bator that is about 3' by 2'. It is not nearly done. I have a bunch of PVC and connectors left that i am thinking of making into a turner like yours. How does your turner work? Do you have any more pics of it? That seems like a really good idea!


  7. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    In the second picture you can see the basic frame. Everything to the left and right of the 4 way connectors goes through the sides and out of the bator. The handle that sticks up is the turn lever and you move it from right to left (and back the next time) to rotate the eggs from side to side. You can kinda see that in picture #7.

  8. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    About that fan that I ragged on my DH for.....I was reminded why we got it. [​IMG] It is a 115 VAC fan that can be wired in with the other electrical things and does not require a 12 volt adapter. One other nice thing is that the housing makes a hood heat sink.

    In wiring the fan we wired it so it would be always on and not turn off with the light.
  9. mybelle5

    mybelle5 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 19, 2008
    Memphis TN
    Amazing.. Excellent work! [​IMG][​IMG]:
  10. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    Now I would say you did a great job, and don't dog out the DH he sounds like he was just helping. You should have great hatches, I too like the turner idea, way to go.

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