My homemade incubator **BABY PICS!!**

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by arlee453, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well, Miss Prissy inspired me and so I was off to Lowe's yesterday to get the goods for an incubator of my own. Let me preface this all by saying this is my first attempt at hatching eggs so I'm a complete newbie.

    I found an old cooler that I think will work OK. It's in good shape, and should be easy to clean. It's one of the plastic ones. Here's the cooler from the outside:

    Cut a hole in the top for a viewing window. I made it big enough to stick my hand in there to turn eggs also, so as to not have to open the entire lid to minimize disruption to temp, etc. My boys were driving me NUTS yesterday at lowe's so I forgot to get the plexiglass to put over it...

    Here's a pic of the inside finished out:

    I've got it running to see how it does. I at least got the wiring right the first try - the light goes go on and off if I turn the thermostat adjustment.

    A few quick questions.... I haven't cut any venting holes, but I suppose I probably should, or will opening it up to turn the eggs a few times daily be enough to give adequate breathing?

    Any tips on getting the thermostat adjusted? Is there a quick way to get it where you want it, or is it just adjust and wait and see? Also, how long should I wait between adjustments?

    I have two therms/hygrometers. One is the digital one in the pic, and the other is a non-digital kind. The humidity reading on the digital is about 10% points lower than the other. Any thoughts on which is more accurate?

    Thanks!! If I can get the temp/humidity adjusted then I may just have to order some eggs for next week!

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2007
  2. texaschickmama

    texaschickmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Poolville, TX
    You guys. Now, I am going to have to build one of my own. You are inspiring me to try new things that I NEVER thought I would even care about. [​IMG]

    Great bator, let me know how it holds temp/hum.
  3. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    If you have a old picture frame at home you can use the glass out of it for the window. I set my thermostat at its lowest setting and let it run for a couple hours then took a reading then did small adjusts and let it run for a while again. You can place a bottle of water in the cooler to help with the temps too. I would drill a few holes and then just plug them with cotton balls or wine corks that way you and remove them if needed. Good Luck

    You can make your own water wiggler by using ziploc baggies fill one with water and place that one inside another baggie and then place your thermometer probe in with it. That will help until you can go to buy one. you may need to put a 3rd thermometer in cooler to see which of the other two run true.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  4. kelly

    kelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2007
    i'M new to all this but 1 thing I found out with the hatch in my home made bator is I think you should put some hardware wire around the light bulb, the chicks will get up to it and may get burnt.

  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Thanks for the advice! I did think I probably need to put some sort of guard around the bulb for when the chicks hatch out.

    I'm adjusting a hair at a time now - it was way too hot, then too cold, then not enough humidity... now the humidity may be TOO high.

    Once I get this thing set, I hope it holds steady!
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Every time you build a new bator, it seems to take forever to learn exactly how to regulate it, because every one is slightly different. You'll get it!
  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    OK, been watching this thing for the past several hours... Here's what happens. It cools down to about 97 degrees air temp, then the light comes on and it will zip up to 110 degrees and then light goes off.

    I've adjusted it a hair down again, but is this normal or should it be a more steady range?? I have the same water heater thermo that Miss Prissy uses.

    Also, I've taped the therostat to the wall of the bator. Is it better to tape it up on the wall, or leave it down near the grid or does it matter?

    I def. need to get that water wriggler. If it's this nerve wracking to watch it when there's nothing in there, how much worse will it be when there are eggs???!!??
  8. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Just bumping this up... I am confused by the range of temps I'm getting.

    When the light is off, it drops to about 96 deg, then the light comes on. It goes back off when the temp shoots up to about 110.

    This makes sense, that the digital therm is sensitive and there would be a certain 'range' of temps as it goes on and off, but is that range typical or excessive??

  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Maybe you need a lower wattage light bulb. I'm not exactly sure. You're dealing with a very small enclosed space here and that could be what's wrong, or at least, one thing that's wrong.
  10. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Hmmmm I have a 60 wt bulb in there - that may be the issue - I need lower watts to come on more often??

    Going to see if I have a 40 or 25 in the closet...

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