How to build an Incubator

Things You'll Need: Light socket with cord Large Styrofoam cooler with lid Marker Utility knife Dimmer switch for table lamps 8 x 11 piece of glass Tape Wood glue Small plastic fan Small bowl of water Thermometer in clear plastic sleeve 25 or 15 watt light bulb Instructions: 1 . Place a light socket, with a cord attached, upside down on top of a Styrofoam cooler lid. The larger the Styrofoam cooler the better. Trace a circle around the light socket and use a utility knife to cut out the hole. 2. Place the light socket into the hole, widening the hole with the utility knife if needed. Let the cord run out the top. Make sure you can reach the on/off switch from the outside. Add a dimmer switch to the cord. This allows you to control the temperature from the outside of the incubator. Make sure the dimmer switch is for table lamps and not a light switch installed on the wall. 3. Take an 8 x 11 piece of glass, found in picture frames, and cut out a square slightly smaller than the piece of glass into the side of the cooler.

if you included one. and poke more holes if it stays too high. Place a thermometer in a clear plastic sleeve inside the incubator in a location you can see clearly through the window in front. plastic fan and placing it in the back corner of the incubator to help circulate the air. the strength of the light bulb or the fan to help get the temperature to the right level and keep it steady before beginning. 7.4. 8. You can also adjust the strength of the light bulb using the dimmer switch to control temperature. Tape over ventilation holes if the temperature remains too low. 6. or a 15 watt light bulb if your incubator is made from a small Styrofoam cooler instead of a large one. This helps with humidity. Put a 25 watt light bulb into the light socket. Place the eggs inside the incubator after you feel you can keep the temperature within the desired range. Turn on the light bulb and the fan. continue without it. . Allow them to run for several hours and monitor the temperature. Glue it to the outside. Punch a few small holes in the side of the incubator. The base should be at the same height as the eggs will be when you place them inside. Consider buying a small. Tips & Warnings Make sure the incubator can keep the temperature at the desired level without dropping or fluctuating before you add the eggs. Make adjustments to the ventilation holes. Use tape or wood glue to attach the 8 x 11 piece of glass onto the side of the incubator. not the inside. Fill a small bowl with water and place it inside the incubator. They provide ventilation. Close the lid and plug the light bulb in. This creates a sealed window to view the inside of the incubator through. 10. 9. If you cannot find one that will fit. 5. You'll need to run the cord out the side like you did the light socket cord.

The air has previously traveled through the eggs and then is sucked by the fan up a false back thus returning the air to the freezer section of the refrigerator to be reheated and sent on its way again. And Quail Incubator Made From Old Kitchen Refrigerator Converted Freezer Area Is Pictured . The 100 watt light bulbs in the photograph produce the heat and the bathroom exhaust fan blows the heated air down through the eggs. To the left of the light bulbs is a wafer thermostat mounted in a handy box. Fresh air joins the air being heated as the fresh air is allowed to enter by keeping the freezer compartment door slightly (one quarter inch) ajar.Large Homemade Incubators DUCK INCUBATOR This is a kitchen refrigerator with the doors attached on the right and open in both photographs. Chicken. A small part of the lower section is shown in the top photograph to help in orienting the lower photograph with the first photograph. The upper freezer compartment is shown in the first photograph. Duck.

Chicken. For several years the incubator was operated as a "hand turner. Later the automatic turner was added to the system. all of the trays were tilted and the eggs were thus turned." By tilting one tray. The arrangement was calibrated by leveling all three trays before attaching the strips of wood to the corners.Duck. Blocks were used to control the amount of the tilt. A . And Quail Incubator Made From Old Kitchen Refrigerator Converted Refrigerator Area Is Pictured The three egg trays are connected by a strip of wood on each of the back corners. Probe thermometers are attached to the outside of the incubator (See G3) with the probes inserted through a hole and placed on the upper and lower trays. The automatic turner is also a GQF. The thermostat system is a GQF electronic (#3258) thermostat backed by the wafer thermostat shown in the first photograph. The electronic thermostat is placed directly in the air flow coming from the fan in the upper compartment.

The wiring discussion below will describe the wiring procedure for this incubator. Air is sucked to the top of .wire basket sits under the three trays to catch babies that hatch in the trays and fall to the bottom. RHEA/EMU INCUBATOR Rhea And Emu Incubator Made From Old Restaurant Pie Safe This is a restaurant pie safe. The air is heated by GQF heat cables which now replace the old refrigeration coils in the top of the unit. note the turner like the fan must be wired to be constantly available for use. Since this is the only one of the incubators that has a turner. Most eggs are placed in the basket before they hatch.

The fan is the original refrigeration fan.the incubator in the middle of the unit by a fan mounted in a chase as long as the incubator. The conversion required only the removal of the metal shelves . and back to the middle. The thermostat system is a GQF electronic (#3258) thermostat backed by a wafer thermostat. Thus the air circulates in two circles. down to the bottom of the incubator. Both are placed at one end of the chase to be directly in the air flow pattern. This incubator is wired according to the wiring instructions below except that two 100 watt GQF heat cables have been substituted for light bulbs. The air is blown out the ends of the chase. Rhea And Emu Incubator Made From Old Restaurant Pie Safe Converted To A Duck Incubator As interest in raising rheas and emus waned the pie safe was converted to a duck incubator. There is one circle on each end and in each case the circle is from the middle to the end.

Insert For Conversion To A Duck Incubator .followed by insertion of the shelf unit pictured below. It was not convenient to install an automatic turner so the trays were attached allowing the eggs to be turned by lifting or lowering any of the shelves. When one shelf moves they all move.

Goose eggs can be kept at 99. The unit on the left is smaller than the unit on the right as the right side is slightly taller. Two 100 watt bulbs are mounted at the bottom in the two center openings in the chase and . Rhea/Emu Or Goose Hatcher On Right Made From Old School Two Door Refrigerator This is a school-type refrigerator. The two doors are open and not shown in the G1 but can be seen in G2.Goose Incubator On Left.7 on the left while rhea and emu eggs can be kept on the right at about a degree lower or the right can be used as a hatcher for goose eggs. The middle between the two units is an enclosed chase with four openings at the top and four openings at the bottom that extend from the left side through to the right side.GOOSE INCUBATOR G1 .

while the major heat dependence is on the 100 watt bulbs.Goose Incubator Showing Glow Side With Bulbs Off At The Top Fans And Sheet metal blocks At The Bottom Plus Hatching Baskets Note that there is a golden glow at the lower left and the upper right of the middle support in G1. The openings on the opposite side of each glow are blocked with sheet metal immediately in front of the bulbs as can be . The 40 watt bulbs are turned off and on as needed to regulate the temperatures at the top and bottom of the incubator. The glow is produced by light bulbs which are turned on inside the chase and are in holes which are not blocked by sheet metal. G2 .two 40 watt bulbs are mounted in the two center openings in the top of the chase.

and through the chase to the top left . The fans are pulling air from the glow side through to the blocked side of the chase. through the chase to bottom right. fans are placed in the first and fourth openings on the opposite side of the glow with the two middle openings blocked. returns to top right. Air circulates from the top left down to bottom left.Goose Incubator Showing Thermometers Observation Lights For Thermostats . Literally they are mounted on the top left and bottom right of the chase.seen in G2 at the bottom of the right side. To make this action take place. G3 .

When the bottom fan motors needed replacing recently they were replaced with Gemline EM670 fans. A small fan not show in any of the photographs is placed below a hole in the chase that was formerly a refrigeration moisture drain. while allowing the air to be heated before being distributed into the incubator proper. Two thermometers monitor each side with a probe on the highest and lowest shelf on each side. This incubator is designed for the goose eggs to lie flat on the wire shelves. It has been our experience that goose eggs hatch better when placed on the side rather than the end. Note that the thermometers are mounted on top of the incubator and the probes are inserted through a hole into the incubator as shown in G3. This thermometer arrangement allows for monitoring of temperature without opening the doors. Both placed directly in front of one of the upper fans as can be seen in G1 and G3. When the incubator is in use the fans are always on and the light bulbs are turned on by the thermostats when heat is need to keep the temperature at the desired level. Humidity is controlled by placing a plastic pan full of water on the floor of the right side of the incubator. This fan constantly pulls fresh air into the chase which serves as the heating chamber and provides the needed fresh air. The eggs are turned 180 degrees three to four times daily. The . This incubator is constructed with all of the wiring rising through the chase.The thermostat system is a GQF electronic (#3258) thermostat backed up by a wafer thermostat. A Radio Shack thermometer/humidity gauge hangs on the back wall of the left side. The thermometers are Radio Shack indoor/outdoor thermometers with probes. but the Radio Shack fan casings were retained to protect the fan blades. The fans are Radio Shack 4 inch fans.

If you choose to proceed on your own. do so at your own risk. and green wires. white. I use a good grade of 16/3 (number 16 wire with a ground wire) to go from the wall socket to the incubator. These bulbs give much better service than the normal 120 volt bulbs available at most retail outlets. Inside the incubator I take the plastic jacket off to make it possible to work with the black. Be sure to not cut the outside coating on the black. Wiring Scheme For All Three Incubators .bulbs are 130 volt bulbs purchased at an electrical supply store. Wiring Of All Three Incubators Unless you have experience doing electrical wiring it is certainly best to call on someone who has the experience. white. and green wires except where you are making connections.

Each fan must be wired individually to the black wire. Finally I set the electronic thermostat at 99. Please note these black/white combinations are a peculiarity of this thermostat and my use of it. thus the green wire is bolted to the metal cabinet. although it is an option detailed in the wiring instructions which come with the thermostat. It will be my backup. then connected to the white (main white) wire.7 degrees Fahrenheit. The blue wire attaches to the black wire to which each light must be individually attached. Circulation of the air and having the thermostat placed directly in the major flow of air are the most important aspects of constructing any incubator. The wafer thermostat is connected to the electronic thermostat by the blue wire. The white wires from the lights must be attached to the main white wire. Except that with my wiring scheme the white wire of the electronic thermostat connects to the main black wire. If I want a light on the outside to let me know what is going on inside the incubator. To set the temperature on the thermostats I fill the incubator close to the thermometer probes with burned out light bulbs. I can mount a light on the outside of the incubator with its black wire joinng the black wire for the other light bulbs and its white wire joining their white wires. The electronic thermostat is connected to the main black wire along with the fans. The black wire of the thermostat now connects to the main white wire. . If the electronic should fail the wafer will keep the eggs from being heated to the point of ruin. I set the wafer thermostat first to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.The green wire is the ground wire and I like to have one since the incubators are nearly all metal. The black (main black) wire must lead to all of the fans and to the thermostats.

Harriman.Georgia Quail Farm (GQF) incubator parts are normally obtained from Rocky Top General . Waterfowl of Chenoa mfield@utm. TN 37748. PO Box For more information please contact: Maurice Houston Field Professor Emeritus of Science Education and Curator. The web page can be found at: http://www.rockytopgen. 423-8828867. They will send a catalog on request.

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