Incubator

Jeff L

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May 12, 2015
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I am thinking about either buying or building one. Do I need one to turn the eggs or anything special I should know?
 

ChickenCanoe

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It can be simple or complex.
Eggs need to be turned (preferably at least 3 times a day till the 18th day. An automatic turner makes life simpler.
Good temperature control is imperative. Just a half degree makes a difference.
The ability to raise and hold high humidity is important.
Air flow for oxygen during the last couple weeks is needed too.

The advantage of building is that less expensive but good quality incubators don't hold that many eggs.
 

TwoCrows

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Yes, eggs need to be turned at least 3 times a day if not more. Most hatcheries turn their eggs once an hour. This keeps the chick and yolk centered inside the egg and keeps the chick from sticking to one side of the egg. It also allows the growing embryo to access new food each time you turn the egg.

You will want to turn your eggs from one side to the other. Never 360 degrees, but 1/3rd to the right the first time, then back 1/3rd to the left the next. Like the rocking of a ship. One side, then the other each time.

Coturnix hatch between 17 and 19 or so days. This is not set in stone and birds can hatch earlier or much later. Stop turning your eggs sometime on the 14th day. Keep all vents open and get your humidity up to 65% to 70%. You can put a clean kitchen sponge in a cup of water for more humidity.

Make sure you use good gauges for humidity and temp. These are everything. As ChickenCanoe mentioned, you will need venting for good oxygen exchange. As the embryos grow, they will need lots more oxygen at lock down and max air at hatch.
 

Fat Daddy

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Dec 11, 2010
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As Leyla mentioned, the thermostat is the heart and most important part of your bator. Its worth the $20 for one designed for the purpose. A hot water heater thermo is not what your looking for. the differential between on and off is too great and was not designed to control ambient temp. A foam cooler can make a nice bator.... or a wooden box you build from plywood.... if a store bought egg turner will fit inside it even better..... a computer fan is a plus.... this one works great for a $35 investment......





EDIT TO ADD: here is the wafer style thermostat I would recommend....

 
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quail raiser

In the Brooder
May 16, 2015
56
3
31
louisiana
I have an old leahy mfg. co favorite incubator, everything works perfect but the fan. It will work fine for bout a week or two then it will just quit. I have to adjust temp when it does, my question is will it still hatch eggs working as a still air bator and where can i get a new fan and how much are they
 

TwoCrows

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I have never built an incubator so I am not a lot of help here. :) But still air does work as well. The temp needs to be about a degree and a half higher that with force air.

But I don't see why you couldn't pick up a tiny cheap fan and blow air into the incubator through a small hole. Something like this should work...http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...kpid=2103458&gclid=CPO816zz3MUCFQUPaQodCRkAzg

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Fat Daddy

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Dec 11, 2010
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I have an old leahy mfg. co favorite incubator, everything works perfect but the fan. It will work fine for bout a week or two then it will just quit. I have to adjust temp when it does, my question is will it still hatch eggs working as a still air bator and where can i get a new fan and how much are they

. I would not use the bator without a working fan to circulate the heat..... I love these old red wood bators and will own one when i find a restorable one at a reasonable price. Iv seen terrible condition ones sell for as high as $700.... Id remove the fan and search for a suitable replacement with fan in hand....
 

quail raiser

In the Brooder
May 16, 2015
56
3
31
louisiana
Its a favorite incubator no. 416, its hatched a few hundred eggs for me before with really good hatch rates. but the fan decided to quit 2 weeks into a bobwhite set. I only got bout 20 eggs in it, trial run since the fan been acting up
 

fire370

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May 9, 2015
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Run down to walmart or a computer supply store. You don't need anything fancy. My 3 smaller incubators have computer fans and cell phone chargers for power. When I made my big cabinet incubator I used a bathroom exhaust fan and installed 2 computer fan as a back up. They are covered/blocked off in normal operation and will get me by incase of a failure in the main fan with minimal disruption. I incubate in the cabinet and hatch in the 3 smaller units so I never have to keep adjusting.
 
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