just built incubator


In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 9, 2011
Well I just finished up my homemade incubator last night. I had 4 eggs in a little bitty incubator I bought from Southern States and could tell right away that I was gonna need something bigger. (addictive hobby). So I bought a metal cabinet from a thrift shop for 12 bucks. It's about 14 inches high, 18inches deep, and 18 inches wide. I lined a good part of the inside with pieces of styrofoam wrapped in tin foil. I drilled a hole in the back and mounted a light bulb fixture in it. Then I bought a y to put in the socket so I could put 2 bulbs in it (in case one burns out will give me a little time to replace before losing too much temperature). I found a thermostat laying around at work and wired it in. It had a long probe made on to it, so I was able to mount the thermostat on the outside of the box and put the probe right where the eggs are setting. I put a thermometer in it that has a humidity reading on it too. I figured the thermostat probably wasn't calibrated perfect. I dremeled out a square on the front and cut the bottom of a tupperware container out and duct taped it in place on the front for a viewing window. So far for about 48 hours it has remained a very constant temperature and seems to be working pretty good. So I put the 4 eggs in it that I had in the little incubator and added 5 more that I gathered today so we will see. All in all I have about 30 bucks in it I guess. Probably could have almost got a store bought one for the money, but it's been fun and it's pretty good size. Of course if it works I will have 200 chickens by summer
OK, had a disaster today. I have my incubator full of eggs at varying hatching dates, but quite a few set to hatch in about a week. I came home today and the power was off. It was off for a total of about 7.5 hours and the temp in incubator dropped to about 70 degrees. Am I screwed?
I had mine plugged into a circuit with a groundfault recepticle in line. Something tripped it and cut off power to the incubator. It was at 73 degrees when I found it in the morning. Had been off most of the night. This was on day 3. I candled them at day 7 and they were developing fine. They are due to go into lockdown Friday so I will candle again.
I won't plug the incubator into a kitchen outlet again.
Lesson learned.
Good luck.
well I hope so. I had 16 eggs in there yesterday. Candled them all and only one was not going along as it should. I was happy about that percentage, then today happened and kinda busted my bubble. This is my first time incubating.
I will be following this thread because I have had the same experience this week. I have finally found a heat source for my Red Bull incubator. It is like a wine cooler fridge only for Red Bull. I have tried to find a heat source to make an incubator. This week my friend found a waterbed heater at a garage sale for $1. I asked her to borrow it. I put it in the fridge. We drilled a vent hole in the back. I put the cord through the vent hole. So far it holds at 100 degrees and 45-50% humidity. I have 2 more incubators that I bought that are hard to hold humidity. I started some goose eggs for a friend in exchange for some silkie eggs. I have a rolling hatch going on chick eggs and goose eggs and the power company left us a note that we will be without power. GREAT!!! So far, the goose eggs I can still see movement. The chicks are still too soon to see anything. We will see in a few days.
aside from the power outage, my biggest problem has been humidity. I'm having to really work at it to keep it around 40%

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