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Newbie - Incubating eggs - making incubator? Raising chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by schnebbles, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. schnebbles

    schnebbles Songster

    Jan 6, 2013
    Indian Lake, Ohio
    Hi -

    I'm brand new and wanting some chickens this spring.

    I'm wanting some silkies and bantam cochins, just a couple each.

    Can I make an incubator cheap? then, if I can, I have cats so any brilliant ideas on keeping the chicks so the cats don't get them?

    I know I can buy some who are older but I thought if I could get eggs cheaper and raise them myself they might be sweeter. But, then I have the problem of roosters. I don't want babies or even eggs. I probably should try not to have a rooster, however beautiful they are! I hope this doesn't sound dumb, but is it cruel to take fertile eggs and just crack them or something? In case I do end up with a rooster? Or, would you all advise just to find some who are a few months old in the spring when they can be only hens and go outside?

    I'm learning everything I need to know so hopefully you are all patient :)


    In Ohio

  2. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Songster

    Mar 30, 2012
    SE Missouri
    HI and and welcome..[​IMG].

    You can look on youtube how to build an incubator.... some cheaper than others
    Unless you have the temp regulater ppl use on hand from what i read it cost about $30 for a cheap one and you need more things too... computer fan and a coolr to put it allin for thre bator
    Seems to me it cost abut $50 or more to make one but i could be wrong they do seem reliable for ppl though

    BUT on Ebay you can buy a cheap bator no fan for about $55 i believe.
    Also try CRaigs list someone might be selling a good one cheap
    I guess im confused why would you crack a fertile egg?

    Yo u dont know if its got a cockrel or pullet in it until the chick hatches and is 5 weeks or more old.
    And you can sell the roo on Craig or chicken swap on facebook Your town probably has one
    The cats ... i have one too.
    Once they are grown my cat ignores them as they are bigger than him.
    As babies i keep mine in my spare bathroom doors shut and built a cage for them with 2x2s $2 each and chicken wire.so you can make a pretty cat proof cage for the babies in case cat gets in there You also need a coop outside once they are 5 weeks old and it has to be preditor proof as other things like to kill chickens.Raccoon dogs hawks etc. S o you wil need to build or buy a tight coop for them for summer and winter to go in at night at least door shut so they are safe
    Things to think about when getting chickens or hatching them Yes i feel its cheaper to hatch out your own but get local eggs if you can ( craigs or Ebay Classifed ) as shipped are a huge variety but has very low hatch rate on shipped

    Spring many Farm stores Tractor Supply etc sell baby chicks about $3.50 or so each and some ARE sexed
    or you can get some grown on Craigs list or chicks there too oreven from a hatchery but I wouldnt get any chicks shipped
    Hope this helps
    Good luck! . .
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. LukensFarms

    LukensFarms Chirping

    Jan 5, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    Building an incubator can be just as expensive as buying one if you want good results. Try buying something used for a first timer. They can be hard enough to be successful with. Best of luck.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Sally Sunshine build an incubator using a cooler box and she had a fantastic hatch in it. Check the article and video here: Cooler Bator I'm not sure how much it cost, but I'm sure she'd tell you if you ask her.

    If you are brand new to chickens look at the Learning Center here for some more helpful info on raising chicks. Here's a good article on incubating eggs:


    Here's a brilliant thread on it, you'll find loads of info in the first post:


    I don't think eating fertile eggs is cruel at all. We can't hatch all the fertile eggs we've got. LOL Chickens are already outnumbering humans! Roosters make good pets if you raise them yourself, so you can train it and teach it to respect you. I had some great roosters over the years. The do more than just fertilise eggs, they look after the hens as well and warn them (and you) if there's a threat. And they are beautiful...
    1 person likes this.
  5. wdeajr3

    wdeajr3 In the Brooder

    Dec 29, 2012
    My Coop
    I built one and messed up some of my eggs. If you planning to build make sure you its running for a week or 2 before putting your eggs in watch for ups and downs of temps and humidity. I bought a 15yrs old GQF 1200 series for $80 omg it works great. Just check craigslist and such.
  6. schnebbles

    schnebbles Songster

    Jan 6, 2013
    Indian Lake, Ohio
    Thank you everyone. I will look into a used or even new on ebay or something. I would love raising the little ones, and I could keep them in my room if I could get my husband to agree, lol! My cats have to have the other bedroom bc their catbox is there and so that door stays open plus they spend time on the bed in there.

    I'm looking at silkies or frizzle-cochins or leaning towards a couple of both! If I had a rooster, I'd get the cochin probably. Would he try and mate with the silkies?

    I am going to read more on incubating chicks. I'm just trying to get all of my info early - and actually it doesn't seem like it's really too early at this point. I spoke to someone who raises silkies and she was helpful but I didn't think I'd incubate eggs. I suppose a pen would be easy to construct with 2x4's and chicken wire. I'll look at those links and see what I come up with. I saw some eggs on ebay for frizzle cochins and they are so cute!

    I suppose I wouldn't have trouble selling extra chicks? I just don't want to have chicks I can't find a home for and end up with 30 chickens!

    I appreciate any help and/or advice. I want to do everything right for my little ones when the time comes.

  7. maidenwolfx80

    maidenwolfx80 Songster

    Jul 26, 2012
    I built one and it only cost me the $4 for hardware cloth. Everything else I asked around for. I actually am selling it because I got a farm innovators incubator for my birthday. I hatch batch of chicks in it and it worked perfect. The only thing I would add to it would be a thermostat

  8. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop

    AWESOME!!! I see lots and lots of peeps in your near future!! [​IMG]

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