Homemade Incubator Really Works!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenchick, May 16, 2007.

  1. chickenchick

    chickenchick Hatching

    Apr 19, 2007
    Paso Robles
    Hi everyone,
    I am fairly new to all of this, and a few weeks ago I posted pics of my new little Araucanas. They are now almost 5 weeks old and boy have they changed.
    Moving on...
    A few weeks ago my daughter had to come up with a science experiment for school, she is 14, and I told her we should try comparing a store bought incubator with a homemade one. We went to the feed store and bought a little (only holds three eggs) incubator and then I also did a lot of research online to find out how to make an easy one from a box. We started the eggs 20 days ago, and the eggs in our cheap incubator are hatching today! It is so exciting!! I used an apple box that I picked up at the grocery store, stuffed some newspaper in it and placed a shoe box inside the big one, hung a light inside, stuck a food thermometer in there and a little cup of water. It all sounded so silly, but I swear it works great. It is much more efficient than the one we bought. Free is good too. We did have to rotate the eggs three times per day, and we also covered the vents on the box when it got cold at night in an attempt to keep it at 100 degrees. The temp did at times range from 90 and 106 and we would run and uncover the holes or lower the light as needed. This was a fun project!
    If anyone has any questions about how to construct this contraption, I would be happy to help by answering questions/posting photos.
    Happy hatching!
    Cindy in CA
    Last edited: May 16, 2007
  2. siouxbee

    siouxbee Songster

    May 8, 2007
    I'd definitely be interested in pics and details, it sounds like something my son would enjoy. In fact we're doing something similar with a robin's egg he found on a rock outside. we candled it the night we found it, and put it under hot lights, in a found nest, with some water squirted occasionally on pine shavings below the nest. i swear the blob inside looked bigger the last time we candled it, but I'd be really surprised if it actually hatched.

  3. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    I too would be interested. I would like to hatch some eggs but don't want to buy an incubater. Thanks in advance.
  4. BigMama

    BigMama In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2007
    This sounds like a very interesting project! I would love more information so we could try this at our home. I do have a question for you though,[​IMG] and I'm not trying to sound rude or witchy.[​IMG] What was the cost of the store bought incubator compared to the homemade incubator?
    The reason I'm asking is because sometimes the homemade projects don't really save you anything in the long run. :thun Thanks.[​IMG]
  5. SkeeredChicken

    SkeeredChicken Songster

    Feb 27, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    I can definately say I paid more than $45 on my home made incubator. But it makes me wonder how much it really was. The ones you can buy at the feed stores may include turners, but I'm not sure if they ever include fans.

    I know the store near me just sells the uncirculated air bators. When I made mine, I put in 2 fans recycled from an old computer. $0 on that. So ~$29 for the Coleman Cooler, approximately the same for the thermostat. About $3 for the light sockets, and some scrounged wire and plug. I would estimate mine at about $70. It does seem to be cheaper, indeed.

    The added bonus it that it held temperatures better, and cycled faster that a commercially bought Hova-Bator. One thing I noticed, IMO, is that hovabator type incubators seem a bit underpowered at times (especially during the winter, lol).
  6. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Quote:I figure you may already know this but, just in case:
    A robin chick is going to be completly helpless when it hatches and require constant hand feeding of liquid food.
    If your egg does hatch, you should be ready with some sort of liquid food and syringe to feed it with and bone up on how to handfeed.

    Iv'e hand fed budgarigars but never a meat eating bird.

    I'm not sure if I should wish you luck on it hatching or not [​IMG]
    Its going to be a handful if it does.
    Sorry to cut in on this thread.
    Back more on the original topic...
    When i was about 10 i got a store bought bator and some fertile eggs and tried to hatch them.
    I can't remeber how many months I waited for them to hatch, but it was a long time.
    Wish someone would have told me back then you had to turn the eggs [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  7. aran

    aran Songster

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    so come on then team we need some pics ...both of the shoe box bator and also of the "cooler bator". My son would just love this idea! ...AND it would allow me to get more chicks without my wife being mad because she would assume i would have no chance of actually hatching any chicks:rolleyes:
  8. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    I am really interested in how your Coleman cooler Bator looks. Do you mind breaking out the camera getting a few pics for us who are "dying" of curiosity? My 9 year old son, the computer guy, would love to have an excuse to "recycle" another computer to get at the fans for such a noble cause. [​IMG] Not sure his dad would love to have the project underway, but my daughter would. [​IMG]

    Aran, you are hopeless. If your wife reads this thread, you are toast!! [​IMG] I hope you get away with it. [​IMG]
  9. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
  10. SunChick

    SunChick Songster

    Feb 23, 2007
    Bel Air, Maryland
    Please don't tell me that the store bought incubator was the yellow saucer type one? [​IMG]
    They are more like toys than an incubator, I know several web sites that chew up the creators over that one. From what I have read, eggs almost never hatch in those. [​IMG] From that standpoint alone, I wouldn't have chosen it as a dependent variable in a science experiment. JMO as a science teacher. Glad though that your homemade bator was a hatching machine! Now you could experiment plenty with that! [​IMG]

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