Would like advice on my DIY aquarium hatcher

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by nunlef, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. nunlef

    nunlef Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    I have read through some similar topics, but it looks like a lot of people don't brood in the hatcher. I got an incubator for Christmas (hovabator something), but I would prefer to hatch in a different container. Please let me know if my plan is reasonable.

    1) 20L aquarium (sterilized) it's about 24" long by 13" top to bottom by 12" front to back.
    Wrapped on 3 sides by insulating foam (rigid foam from hardware foam)

    2) heat lamp overhead (like for a brooder)

    3) water/sponge in a plastic container

    4) pine shavings on the floor with an old sheet over top - the sheet would be removed once chicks eat and drink appropriately.
    the plan would be to mold the shaving so the eggs would still be angled without the turner.

    I want to keep chicks in that environment for at least a week. preferable two weeks. I will continue to brood the chicks in a different container after 2 weeks old.

    I have tested temps for the setup and it looks good for lockdown.
    Thanks for any advice,
  2. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Georgetown, KY
    Sounds like a plan as long as your humidity and temps are where they need to be. Depending on how many you hatch 2 weeks could be a long time in your tank hatcher.
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    sounds like a good brooder - not so sure about a hatcher. you need the temps & humidity to be stable for hatching. The humidity needs to be fairly high or the chicks will get stuck in the shell as the membrane gets thick & gluey if its too dry.
  4. nunlef

    nunlef Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    thanks so much for the advice. I have a hygrometer (?) coming, but the humidity should be the easiest to control.

    I ordered 24 eggs, so I'm hoping for a hatch of 10. some of them will be leaving within a week of hatching, but I want to keep at least half of them.

    The main brooding area is in an insulated, attached garage, so I don't want to put any chicks there until they can handle 85 degrees (I can maintain 90, but better safe than sorry).

    thanks again,
  5. quintinp

    quintinp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2010
    Southern Oklahoma
    If the top of the aquarium is covered by a piece of plexi glass, then it should be fine if the temperatures are very stable. The humidity is a lot harder to control than you might think though. My advice for the humidity is get a large pan and fill it with water, and place a large pile of shredded cotton T-shirts in the pan. Place the pan under the light to get the humidity higher. Just a note: The humidity is the most important part of a hatcher. In the incubator the temperatures are the most important part, in the hatcher the humidity is the most important, because if the humidity is too low, it shrink wrap the chicks and hinder your hatch rate a lot.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  6. EledaWV

    EledaWV Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2013
    I have eggs from two different sets in the incubator. Has anyone tried this for "lockdown" only?

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