My Basic DIY Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by torilovessmiles, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    I found an article on making a basic, still-air incubator, and I just had to try it. http://www.stormthecastle.com/how-to-make-a/how-to-make-a-homemade-egg-incubator.htm
    I made a few adjustments to work with things that I had around the house, and came up with this:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The light that I am using was taken from a set of old Christmas lights. I'm not sure about the exact wattage, but I do know that when I was a kid, it was hot enough to burn my fingers and it's able to get up to the temperature I need it to! I also like it's small size and that I can string it through the top. This takes up less room in the incubator, plus I can move it up or down to make minor 1-2 degree changes when necessary.
    I didn't put any cage wire on the floor as suggested to keep the babies clean, though I probably will before I put eggs in. Do you guys think this is necessary, particularly with hatching just a few chicks?
    The article suggested 50%-70% and I am aiming for 40-50%, after reading the forums. I've also raised my goal temperature to 100-102F, because the suggestions in the article seemed low compared to everyone's suggestions here. It's staying around 100 degrees pretty steadily, but humidity is going up a little faster than I'd like. I think I may poke some holes in the top to try and even it out
    I'm waiting a few days to see how well I can maintain temp and humidity manually, with no fan or thermostat. If all goes well, I plan to put in the eggs in the evening of Jan. 31, making Feb. 1 the first day of incubation. That just seems to make things much easier!
    I realize that this is more of a science experiment than an efficient way to hatch eggs, as I only plan to put about 6 in and will be lucky if one or two hatch, but I'm really excited to see if it will work!
    .
    I'm also using my own eggs from my chickens. When I crack them, almost every single one appears fertile, and I'm hoping the fact that they're not shipped will increase my odds also!
    I value everyone's opinions on this site a lot, so if anyone has done something similar please share! I would greatly appreciate any advice on humidity, temperature, your designs, or any small tweaks that would make this better, while still being very basic.
    I'll update this regularly! Wish me luck!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2014
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    I'm also keeping it in my bedroom, which is has the most consistent temperature of any room in the house. I can also check it and adjust it through the night

    If you have used these, what was your hatch rate? A lot have reported around 33% for DIY incubators
     
  3. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2014
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    The incubator stayed consistent throughout the night! Temp stayed between 99F and 103F and humidity 40%-50%!
    I'm going to place a second thermometer in the far side of the incubator, just to check for cold spots. I moved the thermometer/hygrometer around and the temp seems fairly consistent inside.
    I'm adding eggs tomorrow evening! [​IMG]
     
  4. tikilyn

    tikilyn Out Of The Brooder

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    you need to get an analog hydrometer. I made the same kind of incubator (kids project) and the first batch didn't hatch. All the chicks drowned in their shells. I'm on my second batch and I went out and bought one from petsmart. The difference from my digital and analog is anywhere from 15% to 25%. With the analog being higher than the digital.

    Tomorrow is day 18 (lockdown) and the chicks are all growing and still alive!! Fingers crossed that they hatch!
     
  5. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    Quote:
    Thanks for the tip! I tested this one and it seemed pretty accurate, but I will keep that in mind! I'm also going to add an old fashioned mercury thermometer to double check the temp, and I'll probably take it out right before lockdown to make sure no babies break it. Digital thermometers/hygrometers are okay, but you just can't beat the old fashioned ones! haha
    I've also lowered the humidity between 30% and 40% as well. I'm really excited to try it!
    Good luck with yours! [​IMG]
     
  6. PeacocksAust

    PeacocksAust New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2015
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    Awesome idea, looking forward to seeing if it works out. I might need tips I can't get a single egg to hatch in my incubator :(
     
  7. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2015
    I'm excited for you!! I'll be adding eggs to mine in about 2 weeks. I am also working
    w a diy styrofoam incubator but I thought that the temp should be at 99.5 - 100. Would
    103 hurt the eggs?

    Good luck and keep us posted!!
     
  8. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    Yes, 103 would hurt them, but that was the highest it went, and only for a few minutes. It was because the room got a bit too hot. If I keep the room temp around 70 degrees, it doesn't do that.
    With still air, suggested temperature is around 101F on top of the eggs since there is no fan forcing the air down.
    Good luck with yours too! :)
     
  9. JulesFlock

    JulesFlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Ohhhh I didn't realize you were doing still air. I'm doing forced. I debated on doing still.
    I may try that next depending how these hatch.

    What are you hatching?
    I'll be attempting EE and barred rock from local eggs and cream legbar and silkie eggs
    w shipped eggs. We'll see how the shipped eggs go!!!
     
  10. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    Quote:
    I have Red sexlink hens and a Production Red roo, so pretty much just a mix. Hopefully, a mix that lays really well! In the future, I plan to build an elaborate incubator with a fan and thermostat, so I may hatch some eggs from a local breeder eventually! I don't want to spend all that money on eggs for an experiment haha
     

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