My very first go at incubating


8 Years
Jul 29, 2013
Central Ohio
I built and tested an egg incubator,

it holds very good temperature at 99.2* - 99.7* My first time in the incubating world will be bourbon red turkey eggs. They range in weight from 70 G up to 87 G
I weighed and marked the weights in grams

The thermostat turns the heat on and off many times per minute, so I am confident that the temps are holding very steady.
I built a crude but working egg candler
Testing it out with a white chicken egg
I made it portable so I can go to a dark room for this. Even with schedule 40 PVC the light was bleeding through, so I wrapped it with electrical tape. (Didn't have paint on hand!)
The incubator has 50+ 1/2" holes that can be plugged for controlling humidity levels. The
Filler tube with funnel and plug for adding water without removing the top
I will be adding a second light and reducing the wattage to two 40's but for the moment I just have one 75er.
I made this from parts laying around, the only cost is the egg turner, generic great stuff expanding foam, and thermostat. The thermometers and all other parts I either had or found.
I used shelving standards to make the egg turner height adjustable, and also I have hardware cloth framed to place in it under the egg turner for when the egg turning period is up. If I ever needed to, I could add a second egg turner for a total of 82 eggs being incubated at one time.
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Looks great . Very well insulated. Can't tell if it has a fan or not. Don't think you will ever need all 50 vent open at one time. Love the bourbon reds. Had a few at one time. Good luck with your hatch.
Looks great . Very well insulated. Can't tell if it has a fan or not. Don't think you will ever need all 50 vent open at one time. Love the bourbon reds. Had a few at one time. Good luck with your hatch.

Yes it has a fan, in fact it is 120 mm fan, with a filter, and room for a second 120 mm fan if needed.
Did you follow an incubator plan or is this custom designed by yourself? It looks well thought out.
I looked at dozens of other incubators, and decided that I wanted it a little different then any other ones I had seen. The main housing for it is the hollow plastic 2" by 6" fencing boards, I filled them all with the expending foam for insulation, taped the joints, (Well I noticed tonight that I missed a couple!) I then covered that on the outside with 1/4" luan plywood for added strength.
I also knew that a foam box was not going to cut it, as I wanted one that would last longer then me. I didn't copy off any one incubator, but with that said, there are many areas of those I seen that I used for inspiration because I had never seen one other then on the internet. And there are things that all incubators have in common.
Any time I build something, I try and learn as much as I can before taking on the project. I was a custom cabinet maker for many years, and when it's about money, you can't afford to make to many mistakes.

Thanks for the compliment.
Well, 21 days and 33 minutes ago I placed 14 bourbon red turkey eggs in the incubator. As of a few minutes ago I removed 8 of them due to no development in the egg. The other six are very dark, with a 10-11% loss in weight, and the air pocket looks good. I would like to think all 6 will hatch and survive, but I know the chances of that are slim to none. (More then likely no more then 3! which would put the cost per bourbon red turkey at close to $19, knowing I could have bought day old bourbon red turkeys for less then $8 and received a few extras)
If all six make it, they will still be WAY to costly for what I get. So I will never order hatching eggs to be shipped again. Huge mistake in my opinion! I should have listened to all the things I heard/read about shipped eggs! Oh well; live and learn, right?
My $48 Bourbon Red Turkey hatch!

In the last picture, the egg on the right pipped 36 hours ago, and no more action, I am sure it died. The left one pipped about 4 hours ago, so the cost per Turkey may go down. There is four that still have a chance of hatching!

At least I now know my incubator design works!
Awesome incubator build! What kind of light is that for your cander? And how did the hatch turn out? Did you only get the 1?

So far just the one Turkey, as it was just a little bit ago.
The Candler is made from some PVC, and an old small lamp that uses the Candelabra bulbs.

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