Show off those Homemade Incubators!


Can't stick with a Title
10 Years
Jul 5, 2009
Have you created a Homemade Incubator? Yes? (Sorry , I know I sound like Dora )Post Pics!!!

How did you make it?
What did you use to make it?
Did you have a good hatch rate? etc,...

Barred Rocker

cracked egg
10 Years
Jul 15, 2009
King and Queen Co, Va
I'm calling mine "the ugly incubator" cause....well.....just look at it. It's my second attempt at building a forced air bator. The first prototype was beautiful but utterly failed, couldn't keep a constant even temperature no matter what. This one has a lot of cool concepts I borrowed from some designs here on BYC and some modifications of my own. It has 2 compartments, one for the heat source( 3- 60 watt bulbs) and fan as well as a tray of water with sponges. The second compartment only contains the eggs and turner as well as a water heater thermostat. I cut a 7 inch round opening in the wall between the compartments and cut the bottom out of a plastic bucket and drilled 3/8" holes in it to use as a diffusing vent. I've got a water heater thermostat in the egg compartment and it keeps the temps very steady and humidity is averaging at 40%. I've got a 1 degree temperature variation from one end to the other but isn't affecting the hatch as 30 out of 32 eggs are currently developing on day 8. This is the first attempt with this bator but so far so good. If this batch of 15 barred rocks and 15 buff orpingtons turns out good, I'm going to try a batch of Black Copper Marans and Delawares next.

The ugly incubator


3 60 watt bulbs, fan, tray of water with sponges. Goes through 12 oz of water every 8 hours.

close up of the diffusing vent and thermostat


12 Years
Jan 8, 2010
south of I-10 Louisiana

here is my attempt at one
description of components shown (if yall can make out the numbers photoshopped into the pic)

1 = digital scale
2 = P.I.D. temp. controller (holds 99.5deg F rock steady!!)
3 = uninterruptable power supply
4 = 135 amp hour sealed AGM 12v battery for above (provides 2.5 days of power!!)
5 = ¾” plastic laminated plywood box 24”w X 14”d X 24” t
6 = Omega brand laboratory grade digital thermometer w/ 2 probes
7 = calibrated digital hygrometer
8 = 6ea Rouen & 6ea Welsh Harlequin duck eggs
9 = ½” insulation
10 = 90deg. rotary actuator for auto turning eggs
11 = 4ea 60 watt of ceramic heating elements w/ 2 fans enclosed inside a duct

Temp controller temp sensor is inside a blown out egg filled with KY jelly
One thermometer probe is done the same way. The other is exposed to the air.
Plastic pan on the bottom of the heat duct for humidity.
All components other than the plywood, battery and glass window were purchased off e-bay for less than 150 bucks.
Eggs seem to be progressing fine when candled a few days ago......2 weeks till lockdown.


10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
Anderson, CA
Here is my attempt. All this is from the knowledge I gained on BYC. I don't think there is one original idea in whole thing, except the basket.

I found this basket and when I saw that it had an insulated liner I knew it was for me. MissPrissy started me thinking after I saw her breadbox 'bator.


I cut a hole in the top and used a piece of Plexiglas that I had for the window. I used plastic clips that are used to hold screens on windows to hold the Plexiglas in place. I put duct tabe around the edge of the cut-out just to reinforce the wicker and to give the screws a little more to bite into.


Here is the inside. I have put a plastic container with a sponge in it for humidity underneath the hardware cloth that I used for the floor. I also have 2 baby food jars full of water for heat sinks under the wire. The water container and the jars are the same height so they help support the wire floor. I used a bottle lamp kit and a 40 watt bulb for heat. I also have another tray and a sponge on the wire shelf above the light bulb. I have found that getting the humidity up is not a problem (maybe the opposite problem). I cut 2 small holes, one in each end, for vents. I will just put tape over them for lockdown. I used a cut up disposable aluminum bread pan for a heat shield between my light bulb and the egg compartment. If I took a picture today you would see eggs in it


I have a homemade egg-o-meter. It is a pink egg,(think pullet) It is filled with glide gel (used for pulling wire) and then I stuck a thermometer in it. I bought a digital one with an inside/outside temp and stuck the outside probe in the fake egg. I also have another thermometer/hygrometer in the 'bator, it is stuck on the wall with Velcro and a wire tie. I calibrated the hygrometer and it was 8% low, glad I did that or the chickies would have had to learn to swim

Here is the hot water heater thermostat that I am using. It is mounted on a wire cage that I built above the light bulb. I mounted it about 1" away from the light and it seems to react pretty quickly to temperature changes. I did not do any modifications to the thermostat.


I mounted a pc fan in front of the light bulb. I had it on the opposite side of the incubator but moved it closer to the light a few days ago. Temps have been much more stable since then. I mounted it on the wire that seperates the light bulb compartment from the rest on the incubator. It is not up against the side of the incubator so it should be able to draw air to circulate easily. It is mounted at the level below the wire floor so their is no air blowing on the eggs. (good or bad?)


I decided that I couldn't get an auto egg turner in this small 'bator so I made a semi-auto one. I saw this on BYC somewhere, but they glued their trays on. I chose to use a wire tie so I can remove the turner on lockdown. I am going to hatch in the egg cartons. I used PVC pipe and stuck it out the front and back so I can turn the eggs without opening the incubator. Now I am thinking about hatching in cupcake papers and taking the cartons out on lockdown. Any thoughts?


15 eggs went in this morning and so far the temp has stayed between 99.4 and 100.4. Not bad. Humidlty is running aroung 42%. I am going to try and keep it there til lockdown. I am worried that if it goes down while I am at work the temp will spike so I am filling the bottom water reservoir to the top before bed tonight and again in the morning. The top tray, by the light I am leaving empty for now. At least until tomorrow morning.
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10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
Anderson, CA
DH tells me it is "cute". Let's see how good it is. It has become an obsession and now a challenge. When I saw the debate about using a hot water thermostat I decided that I had to try it out.

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