Knit One, Hatch Too? Our homemade incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MommyMagpie, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    Currently in the temperature-regulating phase of testing our knitting cabinet-turned-incubator. Pics to follow!

    Materials: old knitting/craft caddy on legs; scraps of hardware cloth; styrofoam panels; water heater thermostat; light socket; computer fan; cell phone charger; electrical tape; short length of metal plumber strapping; 8x10 piece of glass from a picture frame; duct tape, zip ties, assorted screws/bobby pins

    (Unit just cycled off at 101....progress being made!)

    Tools: screwdriver, drill with 1/2" and 1" spade bits, jigsaw, tin snips

    Wired up computer fan to cellphone charger like a bazillion people have done before.

    Wired light and stat in series.

    Tore off vinyl covering from cabinet and lined sides and bottom with styro panels cut to fit. Cut hole for window with jigsaw, duct taped glass in place.

    (Unit cycled back on at 97! Yay us!)

    More to come; will post pics in a minute.
     
  2. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    [​IMG]
     
  3. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    [​IMG]

    View of the mechanical end of the bator; the stat is zip tied to a short bracket made of plumber strapping. The bulb is a 60watt.

    As of right now it is cycling between about 97 and 101 degrees. I have the stat pointing just about directly at the left parenthesis of the metric conversion temp designation. Can try for a closeup if anyone wants it.

    The fan is blowing air across the bulb to the stat. There are 4, 1/2" air holes behind the fan, and another set on the opposite side at the other end of the bator.

    Hardware cloth blocks access to mechanical parts, and makes a platform for the eggs with 1 1/4" air space beneath. There is space at the end opposite the mechanicals for dish/sponge, and there will be a small hole with a drinking straw through it for adding water during lockdown phase if necessary.

    As I typed this it is now cycling 98 - 101. I will let it run all night and if results are good tomorrow, we will begin humidity testing phase.

    Suggestions and comments welcome!
     
  4. h4ppy-chris

    h4ppy-chris Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 3, 2011
    burnley, UK
    just some thing for you to think about.... having the holes behind the fan it is sucking cold air in all the time. plus it will replace all the air in there about every 20 minuets
    this also takes the humidity with it. the fan is just to circulate the air in there.
     
  5. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    Yes, you do not want much air to come from outside, you just want to circulate the air inside the incubator. The way you have it, moisture will be sucked from the eggs to raise the humidity and they'll all be stuck to the shells, if they even hatch.

    Also a tip about hot water heater thermostats: Face the back of it to the light bulb, and only around 4 inches from the bulb. You'll have much more stable temps that way. Look at the second video on this page to see what I mean: http://cmfarm.us/WHTincubator.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2011
  6. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    Thank you both for the suggestions!

    So where should ventilation holes be, then? I looked at a whole bunch of homemade bator designs and there didn't seem to be a real consensus about where to put holes, and some didn't seem to even have any (but that just seemed so wrong somehow).

    I can stick tape over the holes behind the fan, should I tape up the others too?

    After running overnight in the configuration as pictured the temp varies between 98 and 101, which seems acceptable to me. The humidity is desert-like of course, and I realize I may have to adjust the stat when I introduce a source of moisture.

    Keep helping me out; my friend who will give us hatching eggs doesn't even have any yet - her roo is just now starting to service her girls. So I have plenty of time to refine and debug!
     

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