Its Finished! I built my own HUGE incubator! HUGE PICS!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by midget_farms, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Several of you will remember I started this around thanksgiving. I tried to buy as little as possible & have reused a ton of stuff from around the house. Total I have about $60 in it & it will hold 80 - 90 eggs depending on how I set them.

    For starters I build this box
    [​IMG]

    I had the lumber (cedar 1x3) in the garage left over from a fence project. Cost $0
    I did have to buy the foil backed insulated foam board. It was $10 for a 4x8 sheet. I only used half - so I'm claiming $5 toward this project.

    You can see inside the lid one of the light sockets. I have two - these were from my brooder lights! I just removed the metal bell & slipped them through holes in the back of the box. Cost $0

    Here is a better picture of that.
    [​IMG]

    I had the henges too - but had to buy latches & plexiglass. Total for both was $12
    [​IMG]

    From there I built a cool manual turner. This way I don't have to open the box to turn it.
    [​IMG]

    I had a lot of advice to cut this out to improve airflow to the eggs. I did this today. Here is what it looks like now.

    [​IMG]

    Total cost $0

    So that gave me the basic box & turner with heat source. I ordered a hygrometer from eBay for $0.99 but had pay $6 for shipping & had to wait 6 weeks for it to ship from china. Ha!

    After much discussion with people on this forum I decided to add a thermostat to the mix. Otherwise I would have had a hard time maintaining the temps - expecially since I won't be babysitting this all day for 3 weeks.

    You can see it in the middle of the last picture.

    here is how I wired it
    [​IMG]

    Works perfectly - though it was costly!

    Thermostat $12
    Relay $6
    Connector $2

    So far the total is right around $44

    I forgot to mention the computer fan I had in a busted computer - that was in the wire diagram. It was also free.

    I have had this up & running for a while & have struggled with humidity - See my other post asking q's about it. So with advice from many experts here I did the following.

    I found a huge automotive sponge at Menards on clearance for $0.78 - cut it in half & put each half in a tray.

    I purchased 2 copper 1/2 pipe elbows - they are about 4 inches on each side of the elbo - I bought these because @ $3.99 each that was much cheaper than the $15 for the roll of plastic tubing they had. I then grabbed a couple clamps. Total $11

    I drilled holes in the bator & slid the tubes in so they empty into each of the two water trays. This way - I can just pour water into the tube from the outside & keep the water trays full.

    The holes in this picture are vents - also on advice from here - apparently eggs need air?? Who whould have guessed!
    [​IMG]

    Here is a video of me adding water - very simple!


    At the moment it is running from 99.3 to 101.5 on the temps & I am waiting for the humidity to come up - though advice from many friends on here say 40% is just fine - I'd still like to verify I can raise it for the final week.

    I'm using plastic (not foam) egg cartons with the bottoms cut out as holders for the eggs. This should allow plenty of air & still hold them pretty tight.

    The eggs ship tomorrow! so hopefully by this next weekend we will be in full blown incubation!
     
  2. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Okay. I am not sure if I should show this to my husband or not.

    He has been making an electronic door for the chicken coop out of left over greenhouse parts. his goal was to spend nothing. (Except if time counts... [​IMG] )

    I am very impressed. If my broodies fail me I will show him your box.
    I am putting this on favorites to show him later...after he finishes my shelving...har-har-har! [​IMG]
     
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Thank you for the kind comment!

    I know for a fact I cold have shaved at least another couple $$ off the cost - but in the end I decided to spend the extra to have one that will last a lifetime!

    Like the copper tubes - I bet if I had looked long enough I could have found something cheaper - or even found an old garden hose or what not to use - but this seemed like a good idea.

    Plus - I could have started with a large cooler & not had to buy the foam board - but I use my coolers & didn't want to trash them. You get the point.

    I did it cheap - but with a little creativity - it could have been even cheaper!
     
  4. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    May 22, 2009
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    yeah, I know... I hurt my husband's feelings today (while he was working on it) when some snafu made him say.''OH,POOP!" and I said without thinking, ''You know we could have bought one and installed it by now."

    Talk about the stink eye. [​IMG]

    It's the journey not the destination. I do sudoku and he builds stuff, to each their own obsession [​IMG]
     
  5. tuke

    tuke Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2010
    NE CT
    Looks good to me [​IMG]. What kind of temp fluctuation do you get? Curious if the chicks will fall through the cut outs for the lights after they hatch? I put my lights on the ends above the pivot point of the egg rocker . I originally just had a non rocking tray but made some mods to make it rock. Lets see if I can insert a pic on here to show what I mean
    [​IMG]

    Wow it worked, Oh and I also drilled a small hole in the side just big enough for a nail to be inserted through the side and into the rocker to keep it from rocking during lockdown.
    Did you insulate the top too? I need to get me some of that stuff. Good job keep us posted.

    Ed
     
  6. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I plan to remove the turner on or around day 18. Its easily removed so the chicks won't fall. I plan to keep them in the plastic egg carton (not foarm) that I modified to hold them until they hatch.

    Temps vary about 2 degrees. Today its running 98.0 to 100.0 - I may increase that just a teensy bit, but it is really hard to only increase 1 degree.

    Maybe later this year I will invest in a digital! In any case - for now this will do very well.

    I drilled the hole too - only I use the drill bit not a nail.

    I didn't insulate the top - but after staring at the bare bulbs for a week I decided to put some foil tape on the plexi over the bulbs so they don't shine in my eyes while I'm looking in.

    My eggs should have been shipped today! lets hope they make it here.
     
  7. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    May 22, 2009
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    please keep this thread posted with pictures. I am interested in how it works.
     
  8. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Yup - tracking number for both sellers is listed in ebay! Heres hoping they make it alive!
     
  9. tuke

    tuke Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2010
    NE CT
    So how many and what kind of eggs are you going to load it with? I have a dozen white leghorns cookin in mine right now for it's trial run. I can fit 3 maybe 4 dozen in mine.
     
  10. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    Looks great!! Best of luck with it & Happy Hatching!!! [​IMG]
     

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