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Re-post: seeking info. regarding fridge bator design.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lazy gardener, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Ok, if any one has the time to answer some questions for me, I'd love to do some brain picking. I'm a scavenger, and have had excellent hatching results from the styrofoam incubator that Hubby and I made with styrofoam box, computer fan, 40W x 2 bulbs, and a bimetal thermostat as sold by incubator ware house.( http://incubatorwarehouse.com/bi-metal-egg-incubator-thermostat-kit.html ) The one issue that I've seemed to have with this incubator is that when i increased the humidity for the hatch, the thermostat or thermometers seemed to go wacky, giving me some wild temp spikes. Has any one had a similar problem using this thermostat? I used 3 different thermometers, a digital hygrometer, kept eggs in egg cartons which were shifted end to end, and propped to about 30* so that all eggs rotated through minor temp fluctuations within the bator every 24 hours. Ventilation was very non-scientific: pencils shoved through the foam in multiple locations, until I was satisfied with temp and air flow. I also found that I needed heat baffles here and there to help regulate temps.

    Now, moving on, I've picked up a dorm style, or counter top refrigerator that I intend to re-purpose into a larger incubator. I have an un-used bimetal thermostat, and plan to use the same configuration, with the thermostat placed at the bottom between the 2 light bulbs. I'll use one or two 12 V fans (because that's the current paradigm), or may even opt for a larger standard plug in fan. I intend to make several "manual turners" that can be operated through an outside dowel or wire attached to the egg trays which are mounted at a mid point pivot... I'll raise or drop the wire/dowel to tip the trays forward or back ward x 40*.

    So, here are my questions:

    Would a single thermostat as listed above work for this size incubator?

    Would it function with 2 x 40 W bulbs, or what wattage would you recommend? Any one have other thermostat placements which seem to be more functional than close to the bulbs?

    How much ventilation would you recommend for a bator of this size? Vent placements? I'm assuming some at the bottom to flow past the bulbs, and some at the top to allow the heated stale air to exit. I see that (If I read correctly... Mattman re-circulates his heated air back to flow through again. If I'm reading correctly, I'm guessing that there are additional ventilation holes for fresh air intake.) Would vent holes the size of gallon milk caps be too big? any recommendations out there (or formulas) for how much ventilation for x cu.ft. of incubator space?

    Would I be crazy to do a continuous hatch, setting one tray/week, and then moving one tray full of eggs into a bin at the bottom for the hatch? (dry hatch x 18 days, then increase humidity x 3 days for hatch, then returning to dry until the next batch goes into lock down? I could always use the foam bator for hatch.

    And, finally, Incubator Warehouse has several egg tray options that look like they might work. They look to be a bit pricey. Any recommendations that would be less costly, or work better... or any supply sites recommended? I expect that I would only need 3 trays.

    Thanks in advance for any one who has the time to respond to my many questions!

    Edited by lazy gardener - Yesterday at 12:53 pm


    Ok, if any one has the time to answer some questions for me, I'd love to do some brain picking. I'm a scavenger, and have had excellent hatching results from the styrofoam incubator that Hubby and I made with styrofoam box, computer fan, 40W x 2 bulbs, and a bimetal thermostat as sold by incubator ware house.( http://incubatorwarehouse.com/bi-metal-egg-incubator-thermostat-kit.html ) The one issue that I've seemed to have with this incubator is that when i increased the humidity for the hatch, the thermostat or thermometers seemed to go wacky, giving me some wild temp spikes. Has any one had a similar problem using this thermostat? I used 3 different thermometers, a digital hygrometer, kept eggs in egg cartons which were shifted end to end, and propped to about 30* so that all eggs rotated through minor temp fluctuations within the bator every 24 hours. Ventilation was very non-scientific: pencils shoved through the foam in multiple locations, until I was satisfied with temp and air flow. I also found that I needed heat baffles here and there to help regulate temps.

    Now, moving on, I've picked up a dorm style, or counter top refrigerator that I intend to re-purpose into a larger incubator. I have an un-used bimetal thermostat, and plan to use the same configuration, with the thermostat placed at the bottom between the 2 light bulbs. I'll use one or two 12 V fans (because that's the current paradigm), or may even opt for a larger standard plug in fan. I intend to make several "manual turners" that can be operated through an outside dowel or wire attached to the egg trays which are mounted at a mid point pivot... I'll raise or drop the wire/dowel to tip the trays forward or back ward x 40*.

    So, here are my questions:

    Would a single thermostat as listed above work for this size incubator?

    Would it function with 2 x 40 W bulbs, or what wattage would you recommend? Any one have other thermostat placements which seem to be more functional than close to the bulbs?

    How much ventilation would you recommend for a bator of this size? Vent placements? I'm assuming some at the bottom to flow past the bulbs, and some at the top to allow the heated stale air to exit. I see that (If I read correctly... Mattman re-circulates his heated air back to flow through again. If I'm reading correctly, I'm guessing that there are additional ventilation holes for fresh air intake.) Would vent holes the size of gallon milk caps be too big? any recommendations out there (or formulas) for how much ventilation for x cu.ft. of incubator space?

    Would I be crazy to do a continuous hatch, setting one tray/week, and then moving one tray full of eggs into a bin at the bottom for the hatch? (dry hatch x 18 days, then increase humidity x 3 days for hatch, then returning to dry until the next batch goes into lock down? I could always use the foam bator for hatch.

    And, finally, Incubator Warehouse has several egg tray options that look like they might work. They look to be a bit pricey. Any recommendations that would be less costly, or work better... or any supply sites recommended? I expect that I would only need 3 trays.

    Thanks in advance for any one who has the time to respond to my many questions!


    Edi


     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  2. birdman55

    birdman55 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can check out my forum below building paradise for birds...I have a drawing on there about the fridge bator im working on...the freezer (top) part will be the hatch out brooder (1st stage) and bottom will be the incubator...you will need about 350 watts of lighting in the lower part to keep it stabile with little fluctuations...hope this helps the top part im going to put two 75 watt lights...everything will be run on digital thermostats....the stc 1000
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Try typing out the entire thing instead of copy and paste and see if the entire thing appears. :)
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    thanks. I'd hoped to avoid that!!!
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Lazy Gardener, I copied and pasted what you had in the edit section to your post and it seems to have stuck there! I am not sure if this is all of it however, so if something is missing you may need to add it below. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Thank you Two Crows.

    Thank you BirdMan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015

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