Opinions on building an incubator

gdg327

In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2020
22
14
23
Vilonia, AR
That is a replacement motor for ready made egg turners manufactured by Hova Bator, Little Giant and others. But if you think you can build one go ahead. I am not that good at building things like that. I have two egg turners I bought. One from Cutler Supply and the other off eBay from Coops N More.
 

Lilyofsalen

Chirping
Jul 2, 2020
110
77
60
That is a replacement motor for ready made egg turners manufactured by Hova Bator, Little Giant and others. But if you think you can build one go ahead. I am not that good at building things like that. I have two egg turners I bought. One from Cutler Supply and the other off eBay from Coops N More.
But does it need a motor controller? Or does it have everything you need but the trays?
 

Lilyofsalen

Chirping
Jul 2, 2020
110
77
60
So I decided to build the incubator out of an old wine cooler. I managed to rig together the fan, thermostat, and heating element (also built some shelves). So far everything works but there is a structural problem. I was going to just block up the back behind the fan with some insulating foam I have on hand but this would create problems with air circulation. My father suggested drilling a small hole and building a small chamber with insulating foam to encase the hole and the fan in the back as this would allow air exchange. However, we can't decide where it would be best to drill the hole. Would it be best to pull in air through a hole above or beneath the fan?
image0.jpeg
image2.jpeg
 

Lilyofsalen

Chirping
Jul 2, 2020
110
77
60
It's finally DONE!

THE INCUBATOR BUILD:

It is a converted wine cooler.
For a thermostat, I used https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0152LYY0I/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and ignored the cooling relay.
For the heating element I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01COPT7BG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1.
For the thermometers I used https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y36FWTT/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For the fan, I salvaged a fan from the original electronics.
For the 4 shelves, I built them from 1/4 inch thick wood planks and covered in 1/4 inch mesh then put a layer of window screen over top of the two shelves which will hold eggs.

The way it works is there is a false back into which a fan blows hot air from the middle and out two vents in the top and bottom. The false back is made with pink insulation foam and foil tape. The two vents are partially covered to get the best airflow and temperature in the target parts of the unit. The heating element is mounted across the back of the fan so air is drawn through it and hot air is blown out the other side of the fan.

The incubator has three shelves and the bottom level. Only the top shelf and bottom level are used to hold eggs since the middle shelf gets very close to the heating element and as such is hotter than the other levels. Each shelf that holds eggs has a Bluetooth thermometer that rides on top of the egg turner. The bottom level is unused because I think that between two shelves and DIY egg turners, I've got plenty of capacity. Also, there are 8 quarter inch holes along the sides of the incubator at the middle level so the fan draws in fresh air.

When it is time for lockdown all eggs are put into a basket with a window mesh top to keep the chicks from escaping and possibly hurting themselves. Due to the size of the basket, one shelf is removed entirely while the top and bottom of the incubator hold water trays.

Here is a picture of the incubator while I was simulating lockdown:
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THE EGG TURNER BUILD:

The egg turners are built out of egg turner replacement motor, wood, super glue, and dollar tree poster board. The eggs are rolled on their sides by poster board guide rails attached to the motor. Quail eggs (I only plan on hatching quail) are turned 90-180 degrees (depending on egg size) every two hours. Each turner can hold about 40 eggs, the number varies depending on the egg size. Also, you might think that posterboard is too flimsy but it works well and I've run it for several days. The reason it works is due to the motor turning slowly because it turns so slowly the force exerted on the rails is small. However, the part that the motor arm touches must be wood.

Two improvements I made that aren't pictured are glueing guide boards to the sides of the shelf to keep the rails from slanting and gluing small strips in the middle of the rails between the eggs to keep the larger ones rolling.

Pictures:
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PERFORMANCE:

Through the use of Bluetooth digital thermometers, I can see how the temperature fluctuates over time. The incubator has been running for several days during lockdown and normal incubation times.

top shelf:
IMG_6869.PNG


bottom shelf:
IMG_6868.PNG

Lockdown:
IMG_6852.PNG
 

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ladybrasa

Chirping
Premium Feather Member
Jun 13, 2020
254
316
93
WOW. Just Wow! That looks so awesome! And complicated and very well planned! :eek::thumbsup
 

Lilyofsalen

Chirping
Jul 2, 2020
110
77
60
So here's a crazy question . . .
As you can see in the egg turner pictures, I used some quail eggs to see if the turner worked. I also had them in the turner inside the incubator as I worked on humidity and temperature. Is it possible for any to be at all viable?
I know candling doesn't do much at all in the early stages but I candled them. Some showed bright light all the way through whereas others didn't. I put the ones that didn't show light all the way through the back. I'll check again in 7 days
 
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