Our first Home-made bator!


Hi-Tech Redneck
9 Years
Jun 29, 2010
In the hills
Last night we finally broke down and built our first home-made bator. We used a styrofoam chest from Omaha Steaks, a hanging light kit, a fan from an old DVD player, and some duct tape. HHandbasket cut the openings in the lid for the viewing windows and the light kit (I can't be anywhere near styrofoam when it is being cut. Fingernails on a chalkboard to me.) I glued pieces of plexiglass over the openings using an adhesive caulk. Going to get hardware cloth for the inside today. Bought an in-line dimmer at Home Depot ($10) to control the temp.

Here is the bator

And the in-line dimmer control

The in-line dimmer plugs into the wall, then the light plugs into it, similar to the way you plug christmas lights together. No splicing needed!
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Good Luck! I'm really curious to see how the dimmer works. You must have a room that stays at a pretty consistent temperature.
What wattage is the dimmer rated to? It would work great in a brooder too!
Depends on the wattage of the bulb used. Right now I have a 57 watt bulb in it, but am going to switch to a 38 watt-er. I have the dimmer almost all the way down to keep the temp at 99 - 100. I want to have enough dimmer left to adjust the temp, and since it is almost all the way down a lower watt bulb will give me that ability.

I don't see any reason it couldn't be used in a brooder.
We made one like that last year - Please be very careful about the Temp and HUmidity levels as ours went mad and boild the eggs then we turned it down cause we got scared and they took ages to develop. Then we lost 6 through shrink wrap because the humidity went crazy. In the end we only got 2 live hatches out of 25 eggs!!!!
They hatched day 27 and 28 way late and I near tossed them. They ended up Roos and I had to give them away in the end! Beautiful boys though. A Cuckoo Maran and a Cream Legbar - only ones to survive our home made bator! We are not doing it again!

Good luck
I hope you have as many to hatch with dimmer as we have .10days ago my hatch was 9 out 11 using a light dimmer and a homemade 48 quart cooler with old computer fan.By the way I used a 25 watt light bulb with foil around it .

8 chicks are doing GREAt !!
Sounds like one my dad and I made many many years ago.

Didnt have any hatch, but I did get to spend some good times with dad, so it wasnt all bad.

The one I have now is a used tropical fish shipping container with and old aquarium heater control. Have only successfully hatched 2 but I keep tinkering and Ill get it.

If my hens ever go broody it wont be an issue.

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