Ummm...yeah... We decided to build an incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by GracefulBantams, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. GracefulBantams

    GracefulBantams Hatching and Showing

    Oct 10, 2007
    Okay, I am totally inexperienced in the mechanics of an incubator, but I have to have one to use as a hatcher now, and I figured making one would be cheaper that buying one. So, one of the main things I can't figure out is, is a light bulb the only heat source you are supposed to use?
    Also, for the record, I have seen MissPrissy's wonderful home-made incubator article [​IMG]
  2. RepoBob

    RepoBob Songster

    Nov 25, 2007
    Yes, the light bulb is the heat source. It seems most people are using low wattage bulbs. I would start with a 25w and see how it goes.

    Good luck, I'm working on one too, but haven't ahd the time to do much recently

  3. MsMcChick

    MsMcChick Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    I built one a few years back and the bulb was the only heat source, but I used a heat wafer inside to turn the bulb on and off, it worked out great. I used an old tabletop refrigerator, drilled holes in the sides and used pvc pipe to make a turner handle in 3 spots on each side (which wouldn't work if your making a hatcher, you don't need to turn the last 3 days), and then used pegboard for my egg holder slots. I then lined the whole thing with alumnium foil to help with the reflection of light evenly (held temps better with it). Added a mini loaf bread pan for water and viola....a 200 egg incubator [​IMG] Best of luck to ya both!
  4. countryboy

    countryboy Songster

    Oct 31, 2007
    make sure all electrical connections are sealed for your protection as well as the chicks. i was looking at some of the ones built in the threads and it was scary that some of them left the terminals uncovered at the thermostat or other connections.
  5. GracefulBantams

    GracefulBantams Hatching and Showing

    Oct 10, 2007
    Thanks [​IMG]

    Can one little ol' light bulb rreally heat the thing up to about 100*F ???
  6. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Songster

    Apr 12, 2007
    Dont start with a 100 watt bulb unless you want cooked Yes 1 little ol bulb will warm it well. It really depends on what you are using for the bator and the size. SOme things insulate better then others so that is the big difference. I think I used a 65 watt bulb for mine. Jenn
  7. GracefulBantams

    GracefulBantams Hatching and Showing

    Oct 10, 2007
    Okay, this is a pretty small styrofoam ice chest, I don't remember the exact size, but it's the one that is only $1.57 at Walmart. Do you think it might be too small?
    Also, let me restate that this is just going to be used as a hatcher, not an incubator.
  8. Kaneke

    Kaneke Songster

    seems to me some people have successfully used an "Omaha Steaks" styro carton which is likely smaller than your buck-plus cooler (unless it's the itsybitsy one made for only a six-pack of soda/coke/soft-drink/whatever

    I'm going to be starting with a midsize hardshell fiberglass cooler, only because it got slightly damaged being left outside in a windstorm ... so I won't mind boring holes in it and so forth -- better that than having it end up in landfill ...

    sounds like from other people's reports, either start out with a small-wattage bulb, or incorporate a dimmer switch into your circuit ... as has already been said, you don't wanna COOK the eggs ...

    someone, was it opihiman? , suggested putting full sealed containers of water in the bator too, to regulate and keep the temps more even ... with mine I could probably even use 2-liter soda bottles of water (or water + salt?) ... besides the water in open containers or troughs or sponges, to keep the humidity within range

    good luck and let us all know how it goes --- and thanks MissPrissy for your most informative postings

  9. GracefulBantams

    GracefulBantams Hatching and Showing

    Oct 10, 2007
    Okay, thanks [​IMG]
  10. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I used a 48 quart igloo cooler, a water heater thermostat and a light bulb.


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