Monday, July 2, 2018
Day of the Incubator
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
With baby chickens this year going to 3 dollars a piece, it is time to revisit the incubator. Now I would love to be rich to purchase a 700 dollar cabinet incubator, but that ain't it for me as they do not sell them for good looks. I could build one, but do not have the time right now in using an old fridge, although I think I am going to mention that to my neighbor who has one of those dinky little ones that he says uses more electric than a big fridge, but that is my Inspired mind wandering around, as I am focusing on the one I did build out of a microwave.
This is a really little outfit, that I gutted, and then used the fan that was in it to circulate air, and I wired in a 29 watt light bulb. I insulated it with sheet insulation, covered it with that art store white backer board, and that is my incubator.
For a thermostat I found one of the rare ones that go below 100 degrees for a water heater, as you want to run that around 99 to 101 and no hotter. This thing goes around 102, down to 95 when it shuts off and then turns back on. It hatches eggs, so it does work as eggs are on the cool side under a cluck and on the hot side on top.
What I want to explain though is it takes a day for this thing to regulate, in other words even in a non drafty porch on a nice 75 degree day outside, this incubator takes like 15 hours to get itself warmed up. The same is true with the eggs. Once you put room temp eggs in it, it still needs about 6 hours to warm them up so that it starts turning off and on, on a regular basis.
It simply takes time when you incubate eggs. It would work better in a nice 80 degree room, with no wind, and no fluctuations in the temperature.
I have a water pan, that I MUST put a screen over, as I discovered a chick out of the egg and in the pan drown one time. Flaws appear sooner than later in these incubators.
I am not going to go into the building in this post as I have written before of it and am not dealing with settings, as this is about the necessity of the cabinet must be warmed and humidified for a day, before you begin setting eggs. It takes time for this to become an environment which will work.
I will not use Styrofoam, wood, plastic or things that will catch on fire. Metal has problems of course in electrical shock if you would get it wet which should never happen. The best would be an old small dorm fridge in cutting a window and vent hole, as it would be already insulated and be better suited to the job. When we are rich, I do intend to build one with an automatic egg turner in it too.
What you need to remember too is, you are not probably going to want to set 100 to 500 eggs. What would you do with that many chicks, and if you start selling them too much, the state will appear and start fining you. It also takes a number of chickens to lay 100 eggs, as the fresher the eggs are to set, the better hatch you will have.
Yes electronic high end thermostats are better, but the water heater thing I have does work for this little 30 egg model I built for about 15 bucks. It all though has to warm up for a day to get it working properly, that is the important thing to keep in mind.