window screen in home made incubator? And front glass window instead of top?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 8isenuff, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. 8isenuff

    8isenuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm making my first jncubator...quite nervous about the whole thing...but my current question, is: if i have a metal support grate over the water reservoir, can i wrap it in window screen material? So the chicks can't fall through... will that allow enough air flow?

    ALSO: Will a front/side window work? All the ones I have seen are on the top...but this will be up on a countertop and my little kids will want to see in....ALL the time I'm sure, so I'm thinking about putting a window on the front of the ice chest...so they can just walk up and be eye level with it...any reason why this won't work? Can I do both or will that allow too much heat to escape? I could do two small windows instead of one medium sized one?
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2014
  2. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Most incubators use 1/4 inch hardware cloth. You can get it at most hardware stores. It allows plenty of circulation and is stiffer/stronger than window screen. The eggs and chicks weigh more that screen can handle in some cases, depending on how your 'grate" is set up.
     
  3. 8isenuff

    8isenuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some, but it has 1/2" holes and that just seems to big.....?
     
  4. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Agreed. The local hardware stores around here sell it by the foot. That will solve the issue nicely. Even the $1000 commercial incubators usually use that. Tried and true.
     
  5. 8isenuff

    8isenuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2013
    Georgetown, Tx
    ALSO: Will a front/side window work? All the ones I have seen are on the top...but this will be up on a countertop and my little kids will want to see in....ALL the time I'm sure, so I'm thinking about putting a window on the front of the ice chest...so they can just walk up and be eye level with it...any reason why this won't work? Can I do both or will that allow too much heat to escape? I could do two small windows instead of one medium sized one?
     
  6. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    As you mentioned, the downside of windows is less insulating value. If you use double panes, or add a piece of movable insulation, that will help, or just size the heater a bit more and accept the slightly higher electric costs. I've thought about building a "hatcher" incubator (for just the last 3 days of lockdown) in an old aquarium, placing foam insulation around it that I can remove as I wish. Maybe even a foam box I can put over it most of the time and remove it when I'm there and looking at it. Still thinking on that.
     
  7. lghrnlvr

    lghrnlvr Out Of The Brooder

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    I have built 2 incubator out of Styrofoam coolers and both had side windows. I have to keep my incubator up high, out of my dogs reach, so a side window was my best option. I didn't have any issues with the temp.
     
  8. 8isenuff

    8isenuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, both of you, and good ideas. I have some foam board i can cut to size to fill in when not viewing...
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I was watching some great you tube videos about building a home made incubator--this guy has it down to a science! I noticed some of his had two smaller windows. They were both on top, but I can't imagine having one on the side would make any difference. I think it's a great idea--keep kids from climbing up on the counter to see in the top!
     
  10. 8isenuff

    8isenuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about a deflector in front if the light? Necessary for light or heat control?
     

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