YAY! Here she is!
I need some ideas on making an auto-turner or at least a manual way to turn all eggs at once. I don't have a turner or plastic tray that will fit so I am brainstorming on that.
The bator is running and currently up to 94F so I am fine tuning the thermostat now. I have a 25Watt bulb now but will increase to 40 if I have to.
Here is the outside view. The cooler was one we got from a gifted shipment from Omaha Steaks 2 years ago. I finally found a use for the cooler! Didn't want to throw this massive chunk of styrofoam in the landfill.
I duct taped 2 plexiglass windows. The side window is not as clear as I liked. I accidently purchased an anti-glare plexiglass. Oh well, it will do! The top is crystal clear, like glass but its plexiglass and more durable.
Looking down into the top window you can see I have room for more than 18 eggs. That is a baking tray and baking sheet on the bottom to hold water. I have some drawer liners I will put in for the hatch for a smoother surface for them.
And this is Matilda. This hen shaped wire basket has a thermostat mounted to her tail feathers, a light heat source in her head and a fan mounted to the bottom.
I got her at Good Will. I was looking for "something" to put the stuff in and it was like she was there just for me.
I named her after the "build matilda" instructions I found the link to somewhere on this forum. I used those wiring instructions to wire the lamp to the thermostat so I named the hen matilda.
Here is my cost breakdown:
Styro-cooler: 0.00 (re-purposed)
duct tape: 3.99 at discount store
Corks for vent holes: 0.00 (re-used some corks I had already)
Plexiglass windows: $5.50 for both (3.50 & 2.00) at Home Depot
Matilda: $2.15 at Goodwill
thermostat: $15.48 (you can spend money for a better one. I choose to start with the cheapie)
Lamp Kit: 0.00 (I inherited this lamp that I hated so I gutted the electrical components. I like the lamp a lot better now
Computer fan: $17.99 at Radio Shack
Used copper wire to mount stuff on Matilda: 0.00 (pulled from an old burnt out motor)
cookie sheet and tray 0.00, already had them laying around.
Bulbs: about $1 each
My total cost: $46.11
The best part is that I can remove Matilda and put her in a larger cooler any old time since nothing is mounted to the bator but rather to her. She serves the purpose of protecting the chicks from the electricals and heat source.
I can also change her bulb wattage for more heat if necessary.
Yay for Matilda!