View Full Version : Home made incubator.
Hi all, I was just at playgroup (making sure my two year old is as well adjusted and as sociable as her mother ) :roll: :razz: :razz: and one of the other mums was telling me she hatched out chicks in an electric frypan!!!! She folded a cloth nappy in the bottom and turned it to the lowest setting, put the lid on, just turned them every few days. Nine out of the twelve eggs hatched. I have an old frypan I'm about to drag it out and give it a go.
Tam have you heard of this? Pretty cool if it work's.
Might be an idea to check the energy rating on the frypan, as it may end up using more power than a conventional incubator?
18-11-2005, 10:39 AM
I have a vuage memory of someone in this forum discussing this very topic...I remember giggling at the play on words - frying the eggs...it was funny at te time as I remember.
Have you tried searching in the forum for old conversations about this Jet?
Your daughter sounds like she is on the path to being well adjusted and sociable - what un-adjusted and withdrawn child would wish for a black faced sheep and an apple tree for Christmas?! :D
18-11-2005, 01:02 PM
My mother used to hatch eggs in a small padded box with just a lightbulb over it -- probably used less energy. And I think you're supposed to turn the eggs every day.
I just had a freaky thought.....you could use a chook :D teehee, ok ok I'm sorry... :D
18-11-2005, 08:07 PM
I've heard this one too. I just wonder how you would maintain the humidity. Did she place a tray of water in the frying pan as well?
What would be more energy efficient would be the old glass fish tank/aquarium with the incandescent light bulb. (like the ones they used in the classrooms back in the 1970s)
My first incubator was like this, contained 2 x 40 watt light bulbs. The box was a polystyrene box with a lid from the green grocers. There are two type of boxes, this is the deeper one, not quite as thick, with a tight fitting lid. There were polysyrene slats on the bottom onto which a sheet of very fine welded mesh sat. The water was poured into the channels created by the slats.
This was a commercially produced incubator (no longer available), but extremely simple. I could probably try and draw the design and email you a copy. I still have the instructions for it.
The expensive part of the whole setup of any incubator is the thermostat. If you know someone who's handy, perhaps they could adapt a thermostat from an OLD electric frying pan (not your good one - look in op shops, lots there) because they've all got one.
The trouble is, you are only trying to achieve a temperature of 37.5 deg C and from what I know of electric frying pans, the dial starts quite a bit higher than that.
You need to turn the eggs TWICE a day minimum. The really big units, like my friend's Multiquip, turns the eggs every 15 minutes or so, just ever so slightly.
If you do a google on home made incubators, you should find a range of designs.
I have a homemade incubator - which is sooooo simple.
I use an old fridge and run a waterbed heater down the back of it, with its thermostat sensor positioned in the midst of the eggs, which I lay out on the top shelf. They hatch out on this shelf and are then transferred to the..
2nd shelf which houses the hatchery in which they live for the first 3-5 days (until they are nicely fluffed) and I use a big high sided plastic crate, so they can't climb out and hurt themselves. Then they go over into the tank like Tam described. I have also had success running an aquarium heater in this, intead of a light....as too much light can affect feather development - but you have to make sure you keep topping up the water in the cup the heater stands in, or POOF! (Very disturbing, and did happen)
3rd shelf holds two baking trays that are topped up regularly with water.
Eggs are turned twice a day (on way to school, and on way back in by my trusty helpers) and I generally fuss about and candle them fortnightly to remove the baddies, check on progress etc.
Door is left open about an inch with a stopper, and opened fairly regularly as we fuss about, check on them etc - so that is my only form of air circulation as such.
Ducks need a higher humidity, and I have had much more success with ducks, and this may have to do with the reduced air circulation... not sure. Have still hatched chooks, just seem to get a LOT of roosters...
18-11-2005, 09:32 PM
That sounds like a fantastic setup. Please please please post some photos of it. (or email me)
I have also had success running an aquarium heater in this, intead of a light....as too much light can affect feather development -
My first attempt at brooding was with in infra red heat lamp and I had dreadful problems with canibalism!!! Too much light once again, in this case, the chickens didn't receive any break from 'daytime' and were continuously stimulated.
I now use a purpose built CERAMIC BROODER available from BELLSOUTH PTY LTD. It doesn't emit any light at all, but did cost quite a lot at $79.00. Worth every penny though. The only thing with this is that you do need to ensure that they get adequate 'daylight'. As my brooders are in a shed, I need to provide artificial light by way of a compact flourescent globe set on a timer to come on at daybreak and go off at sunset.
Once the chickens are are a few weeks old, I turn the brooder off during the day, unless it's really cold. During the last week, I leave the brooder off, all the while they are aclimatising (sp?) but keep them in their large plastic tub (huge) in the protected shed. They then go out into a cage for a few more weeks before they are intergrated with the other chooks at around 10 - 12 weeks of age.
By this age I can usually sex them and sort out which ones I intend on keeping, which ones I'm selling and by what means, and which ones I'm culling.
19-11-2005, 08:30 AM
No! Don't email!!!!
Show us all!!
How much would I be up for a new thermostat Tam?
I was given an incubator I think it holds 42 or so the brand is a Smart Incubator, I have the instruction book I might look at setting this up rather than guess with the frypan. Any suggestions on where to hunt down a thermostat??
Dani I do have a clucky bantam at the moment I might try to set up a seperate run for her.
you could try ebay for a thermostat, or post on the buy/sell area of this site
Awww Tam...I am such a slacko with photos...just seems to take so long to find them in my chaotic photo files (that I keep saying I will sort, but procrastination is a bugger) and then upload them, that I never quite get there. Will try and get onto it tonight, or sometime over the weekend...
I have added it to the whiteboard...lol
19-11-2005, 05:50 PM
You can get thermostats from places like Dick Smith Electronics for around $100. I'm sure you could get them cheaper though. Try Middendorf, also Bellsouth P/L (try their website). Any electrical place. If they're not specifically for an incubator, providing they're able to be set at low temps, you'd probably find they'd be a lot cheaper than incubator specific ones, just because they're that.
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