Build a Home Made Incubator for Hatching Eggs - Steps, Tips and Ideas
Do you wish to build a home made incubator for hatching eggs?
Here are some tips, steps and ideas to guide you in making your own incubator.
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The purpose of an egg incubator is to artificially provide a suitable environment to facilitate the hatching of an egg. Almost any type of egg can be hatched, but the process is normally reserved for chicken and quail eggs.
Incubators come in many shapes and sizes to handle every need. They can be purchased at most farm outlets, or can be constructed for just a few dollars from simple components like a box and a light bulb.
Incubators are used when hens abandon their eggs, or to help eggs hatch and mature. All that is required is a space that is heated and maintained to approximately 90 to 100 degrees, depending on the type of egg being hatched.
For temperature regulation in your home made incubator, any dependable thermometer can be used, as long as it includes the temperature range that your chicks will desire. Keeping the heat source and the eggs / thermometer on opposite ends of the incubator will ensure a more accurate reading. As temperature is a critical aspect of hatching the eggs, be certain all your thermometers are working properly, as any poorly calibrated equipment can lead to disastrous results.
Anything from a sturdy box, an old aquarium or a cardboard egg crate can be successfully used as the housing area of your home made incubator. With the addition of some type of heat source to provide heat, the temperature can then be regulated with the aid of manipulating certain features, such as ventilation. The discarded glass aquarium works well because you can clearly see at a glance your progress or any problems that may be developing with your eggs.
A small portable desk lamp can be situated inside the box for your heat source when using cardboard. Temperature is controlled by either cutting flaps in the side or the top of the incubator to allow excess heat to dissipate (heat does rise, so vents should not be near the bottom of your incubator).
Another method of controlling the temperature of home made incubators is by experimenting with light bulbs of different wattage. Obviously, a 60 watt lamp will not give off as much heat as a 100 watt bulb. By combining these two techniques of flaps and different grades of light bulbs, the temperature can be effectively controlled.
Once the temperature issue has been solved, then all that is left to settle for your home made incubator is some type of bedding material for the eggs. Hay, straw or dried grass can all be used - just be certain that any possible combustible materials do not come in contact with the heat source. While even a 100 watt bulb will most likely not generate enough heat to cause ignition if it is in direct contact with paper or grasses, it is certainly better to be safe than sorry.
By following these simple instructions, it is easy to build a crude but very effective incubator, be it large or small. An egg hatching school project can be built in a shoe box if need be, or a larger scale operation can be constructed to help out a farming situation in a pinch. It just takes a little patience to get your temperature steady, and you are ready to hatch some cute baby chicks in your home made incubators.
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