location of heat source in homemade incubator *update* pics of toybox incubator and flexwatt post #1

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kvmommy, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. kvmommy

    kvmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    I made an incubator out of a toybox, worked ok but I want to revise it. Does the heat source have to be above the eggs or can it be on the side??? now this incubtor is much longer than it is wide. Has a large computer fan on one side and its fairly deep. I've been using flexwatt heat tape which worked barely but I only used 1 foot, i'm going to change it to 2 feet. but, I had the heat tape on the back of the box and was wondering if I should move it to the lid so it radiates down rather that from the back to the front, but I like it on the back. What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  2. cassidy22

    cassidy22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, first of all, heat tends to rise. You'd need to put something reflective behind it to encourage the heat to radiate downwards, and then it'll just come up again.

    If you are using a fan, I suggest putting the heat source near the fan, and let the fan move the heat via convection. This will more evenly distribute the heat across the incubator, and airflow is important to incubation as well. You'll want to have heat evenly distributed across all the eggs, so that they all get the right, and constant heat. If you move the heat source to one side, without convection to distribute, the eggs closest will be warmer, and father away will be cooler.
     
  3. kvmommy

    kvmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    The way I built it there isn't room for a fan on top, and maybe room for a fan in the middle between the two rows of heat tape. So for the convection to work properly the fan needs to blow out right? So it would suck the heat from behind it and blow the heat out? I'm asknig because I know some people mentioned before that the had the fans in the styrofoam bators blowing up. I have a reflective insulating material behind the back of the heat tape. I'm not sure how i'd get the heat exactly even from top or back because the eggs closest to the back would get the most heat or the eggs on the top shelf would be closest to the heat. How do cabinet incubators work? where is their heat source and how is it even distributed?

    Thank you so much btw!
     
  4. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my incubator the heat is in the bottom. Fan is in the back blowing the hot air around.
     
  5. kvmommy

    kvmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    so how does it work? does it work well? if your source is on the bottom how do you keep the water and shells and membranes and whatnot from getting on it? bottom would be awesoem for me if I could just avoid that stuff.
     
  6. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine is a cabinet so the light is on the bottom and then there is a shelf for the eggs to sit on.

    My first hatch wasn't very good 12 (13 but one needed culled) out of 50. I couldn't properly candle though because of dark shells. This time I have white eggs and they are all developing.

    I have mason jars this time with sponges for humidity, I'm doing a dry hatch so humidity isn't that big of a deal right now.
     
  7. kvmommy

    kvmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Ok so I was looking at some pics of cabinet incubators and some have a heat source and fan at the top with a solid shelf seperating it from the eggs. How does it keep a stable temperature throughout, especially the eggs at the bottom shelf. 2nd, do the eggs hatch on those shelves? doesn't seem that there'd be much room.
     
  8. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine stays pretty consistent between 99 and 100

    My shelves are not solid they have slats with mesh over them, they are in egg cartons until lock down then I switch out to a custom shelf with cardboard walls and lay the eggs flat. I can fit 50 eggs laying down in my incubator.
     
  9. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd suggest to keep looking at more and more incubators and pictures.
    From what I read before DH made our hatcher, the distance from the heat source to the fan can be critical. He started with the heat ( light bulb) on the bottom and then moved it to one side of the cooler, pretty close to the fan. It took a fair area away from the egg placement but then I used the areas below the light/fan to put various water bottles as heat sinks.I found bottles to fit the areas I had. Try to allow yourself some play room to move either the light or the fan so you can find the optimum placement to maintain temperature. It was closer than we thought.
     
  10. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed, each incubator is going to be different. Also the light bulb I am using isn't a regular size, it's smaller and squatty.
     

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