1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

My homemade version of an incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by McSpin, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. McSpin

    McSpin Chillin' With My Peeps

    496
    1
    141
    Jun 1, 2007
    South Western NY
    This is my first post, but I have been reading and learning from many of the other people on this forum for a few weeks. I decided to build my own incubator. Most of the ideas came from tweaking what others had already done.

    Here's the ugly, old styrofoam box I used. I put in two windows using scrap glass. It is 24"L x 18"W x 15"H, and 1" thick.
    [​IMG]

    This view shows the layout of the inside. There is some 1/2" hardware cloth separating it into two compartments. The left side is where the eggs will be placed. It has 1/4" hardware cloth sitting on top of small plastic "deli" containers. There can be filled with water, one by one, if humidity needs to be increased.

    I plan on putting them into a carton, and then tilting the carton at 45 degrees, alternately sides 3-4 times/day. That should make turning the eggs very quick. There is room to put in three dozen eggs quite easily. It is 16" x 15"

    The right-side compartment contains the light bulb for heat, the fan and a blue pan for water. It is 16" x7".
    [​IMG]

    A different angle. The fan is an electric ceramic heater set to "fan only". This is one area where I had trouble finding a small fan with moderate air flow. I had this old heater sitting around and realized that the fan is a very low airflow type. It seems to work perfectly. The box stays evenly heated and it's not creating a whirlwind in there.
    [​IMG]

    I used a dimmer switch to control the wattage on the light bulb. I'm using a 25 watt bulb that is barely lit with the dimmer set very low. The ceramic base of the light bulb holder is screwed through the stryofoam box, into a small piece of wood on the back to firmly hold it in place. The helps eliminate any concerns of a fire hazard. To the top of the piece of wood, I mounting the dimmer switch, which is wired into the electrical cord before going to the wall outlet. This way, I can adjust temperature without opening the box.
    [​IMG]

    This setup is ideal for a basement or other place where there is little night to day temperature fluctuation.
    By increasing or covering the airholes in the box, and by filling or emptying the water containers, I've found that I can get both the temperature and humidity very precise. I've had it running for awhile and tested it with a water weasel. So far it's perfect. Now, I need to get some eggs and I'll be all set. [​IMG]

    My total cost for this project: Zero!. I had everything sitting around the house. Old beat-up styro, scrap glass, old fan. Even if you had to buy most of this, I doubt it would cost more than $20.00. A similar design to what others have posted on this forum, but a little different.
     
  2. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I like the idea of using the small heater as a fan. I think I might try to find me a small one for mine. I guess I could buy one of the little battery operated ones too now that I think of it.
     
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,912
    17
    201
    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Very, Very nice. I like the fan as well. You have given me an idea I always was trying to figure out how to attach it to the top. Your idea seems to work and it is much easier. I bet you have great hatches with you little unit.
     
  4. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Alaska
    Stupendous!! [​IMG] I love it!! [​IMG] I would like to order one in a larger size. [​IMG] The check is in the mail. [​IMG]
     
  5. McSpin

    McSpin Chillin' With My Peeps

    496
    1
    141
    Jun 1, 2007
    South Western NY
    Quote:I thought about the small battery operated ones, but didn't trust a battery for 3 weeks. Finding a real small electric fan is not an easy task. There use to be a surplus store around my town that sold small muffin fans that were ideal, but I couldn't find one anywhere.
     
  6. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

    592
    3
    151
    May 26, 2007
    NJ
    how do you measure the temp and humidity in there?
     
  7. aran

    aran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    fantastic! I have a styrofoam box from and order of tropical fish I recieved a couple of years ago ...its the same as yours...im going to try your incubator design this weekend! I am going to put my thinking hat on and try and come up with an automatic egg turner too. (i probably have no show of doing this in reality but im gonna give it a try![​IMG]) How do you measure the humidity and do you need to fluctuate the temp and humidity at any stage in the 21 days and if so how do you do it accurately?
     
  8. aran

    aran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    this will sound stupid but can you hatch other eggs in the incubator? My son for whatever reason has this thing in his head about getting ducks and a peacock of all things!
     
  9. redneck

    redneck Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    1
    131
    May 25, 2007
    Lynchburg,Tn.
    [​IMG] Here's an idea for a fan: First, get an old power supply from a computer. Then get a 110V in 12V DC out plug in transformer, I got mine for $2.00 from a pawn shop. Simply cut the end from the transformer and hook into the fan. You might find an old computer from a yard sale. But be careful when removing the fan from the power supply.
     
  10. aran

    aran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2007
    rochester ny
    great idea! i have a crappy old computer tower somewhere! man this forum is great!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by