Styrofoam incubator now holding temp better than ever! (upgraded with pics)


6 Years
Jul 21, 2013
My Coop
My Coop
I have the hovabator 1602N. I added a small fan to it already, but I could not move it out of one room in our house. The incubator could NOT hold a steady temperature if the room was not at least 75-80 degrees. After reading through the forums I found that everyone else had the same issue. So after some scouring and brainstorming I came up with this $20 fix that, so far has had extremely good success. I thought I'd share it with everyone and see what everyone thinks. I welcome any feedback/criticism as any improvements would be welcomed!

So here goes -

I basically made a foam box around the dimensions of the HovaBator. I used a 4x8 sheet I bought from Home Depot for about $14.

I made it pretty straight forward - I used construction adhesive to glue it all together. Doubled the walls so they were a full inch thick all the way around. Clamp, dry.

I got a piece of plexiglass scrap from lowes for under $4. (they said "we don't have scrap pieces" then when I found one of them they gave it to me cheap) I wedged the plexiglass between the two layers of foam for a window.

I made the lid the same size as the top and glued a 2 inch strip to it to cover all the way around the foam box. The cuts on the foam walls were not exact so this lip covers those open gaps. This worked out great because I can run the cords through one of the bigger gaps and it serves as air ventilation. I did drill a few holes in the bottom too for more ventilation.

So far it has worked as good as I could have wanted! Before I could not get above about 92 degrees in any room in my house except for a spare bedroom where we had to keep all the doors closed and air vents shut. Now it holds a temp like a champ. It's not super cold here yet, but I took it outside last night and it was about 69 degrees outside.

Check it out! The outside of the box temp (far left thermometer) is just under 70. The far right thermometer (inside the box but outside the incubator) is at 90! Then my probe temperature shows inside the incubator is holding at 101.5! This shows to me that the hovabator looses a TON of heat. That foam box goes up to 90 in no time.

This is with no eggs or turner in the incubator. Before, without eggs, the temperature was hard to maintain due to nothing inside to keep the temperature up. Now with the foam box keeping a temperature at 90 degrees around the incubator, it has no problem. I will definitely test it in some colder weather when I have a chance. I would like to be able to set this guy in the garage at some point. I'm excited to test this guy out on my next hatch. For $20 it so far seems a lot better choice than spending the dough to upgrade to a better one (or make my own).
I've been having trouble with my incubator, same problem. I may try this, thanks!
You're welcome! Glad I could help. I'm excited to test this when the temp is around 40 outside the box. I'm optimistic that it will still work
Ya that is my concern right now. There's 1/4 to 1/8 inch gap all around the top where the lip is. So air can go out then down to get out at the top. I have a few holes drilled in the bottom on two sides too. Any idea to figure out if I have enough?
Test number two - it was 58 degrees outside and hovabator was holding good!

I have had people tell me that building a box around a bator will help regulate temps and prevent room temps from affecting the incubation and hatch. So far looking good! Please keep posting, especially when you set eggs and hatch. I hatch in my classroom and have had temp stability problems because I have no control over our classroom temps. Heat/airconditioning shuts off at exactly 3:00pm
This may work for me and the window on top still will allow my students to peek in and see the eggs
So far I think it will help a lot with the temperature stability I was wanting. I haven't been weighing our eggs and have been having some poor hatching results I believe due to humidity. This hatch I have added a fan to the incubator and have created an excel sheet to monitor % weight loss per egg as we weigh throughout incubation. And now this box cover. So I could have a great hatch or terrible one since I've changed so much. My main concern now is ventilation and oxygen getting inside. Think I'll add some more holes to it.
Hatch is complete! We did amazing compared to our last few hatches. We went from about 25% to 71% hatch rate

This time we only had 27 eggs to set (winter egg production slowed us down). But 19 hatched! ( I didn't even check for infertile eggs so the % good be even better ) I did 45% to 50% humidity throughout incubation and put two sponges in at lockdown because I thought my air cells looked pretty good. Humidity boosted to about 70%.

The new box worked amazing! I added 3 dime size holes to each side for a little more ventilation:

I'd recommend this to anyone who has a styrofoam incubator and wants to be able to use it outside of their "warm room."

Things I would change:
Add a bigger viewing window at the top
The foam keeps the heat AND moisture in so I had condensate on the outside lip of the lid. Wouldn't have cared but I had this on my desk next to my laptop. So be careful with this

Otherwise it works great!

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