Monday, December 14, 2009

Homemade Egg Incubator ...

Problem: An egg-bound hen with two abandoned fertile eggs. She’s fine now, and I’ll review how we helped her lay that egg in another blog.

Solution: Incubate them. Whoops, no incubator. That problem was solved in 15 minutes. Here’s how we made a still-air incubator – one without a ventilation fan.

First we gathered our materials: an unused Cockatiel nest box, a piece of sturdy welded wire, a small thermometer, a glass dish for water, a large washer, nuts, and an electrical light socket with cord.



Next, hubby drilled a hole through the side of the box at the proper height for the light socket’s shaft. After fitting the shaft through, he put on a large washer and tightened it down with a nut. We screwed in a 25 Watt bulb, folded some aluminum foil, and put it under the bulb to reflect the heat into the box. The glass dish holds water. It will evaporate and help keep the air around the eggs moist.

With the basics in place, he cut the welded wire to size and folded it to form a “floor” above the bulb and attached the thermometer to the back wall of the box. Then we added a “nest” — a small cardboard box with tissue padding. And the egg’s new home was ready!

We plugged in the bulb and let the box pre-heat before placing the eggs. We’ve found that the thermometer reads a consist 98 degrees…just about right. We developed several hi-tech solutions to achieve optimal temperature. If the temperature is a little too low, move the box closer to the bulb. If it’s too high move the box away from the bulb. If the incubator overheats, raise the lid slightly and stick a pencil in to hold it up. The more heat you need to dissipate, the further back you put the pencil.

And that’s it. In about 15 minutes we had our handy-dandy still-air incubator. Say a prayer for our eggs. I can see movement when I candle them. (On my next post I’ll show you our hi-tech egg candling device. I’ll also let you know how this grand experiment turns out.)

5 comments:

G. Lewis said...

UPDATE: All subsequent three clutches of eggs from this pair have been fertile and developed right up to the point of hatching, but did not hatch. So, the problem was probably not with this incubator, but with the pair of birds who produced these eggs.

reptile egg incubators said...
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Gail Lewis said...

NOTE: This incubator has since been successfully used to hatch and help raise Lady Gouldian finch eggs, Bourke Parakeet eggs and Lineolated Parakeet eggs.

G.A. Lewis said...

NOTE: This incubator has since been successfully used to hatch and help raise Lady Gouldian finch eggs, Bourke Parakeet eggs and Lineolated Parakeet eggs.

Mike said...

By the way, the materials cost is $70 – for an automatic incubator of 50-60 egg capacity. It’s essentially lifetime design – where any problem can be fixed readily by replacing parts. It’s designed for disassembly.