Incubator Inspired

Back when our son was very small, about 10 years ago we got our first chickens. We ended up with lots and lots (did I say LOTS?) of chickens! There were 50+ free range chickens….3 of us in our family so that meant lots of extra eggs. Back then you couldn’t give farm fresh eggs away, let alone try and get $1/dozen for them. Now farm fresh eggs seem to be all the rage.

Once our chickens started to lay (we didn’t start out with 50) we began to think about incubators and hatching our own chicks. We did our research and purchased our incubator. 30 days later we had an ok success rate….we candled, turned the eggs and watched the humidity. We were very good broody hens.
One morning the husband woke up and was very excited about the dream that he had. How to make our very own incubator and we wouldn’t have to buy anything. I am going to have to guess here, as this was several years ago, but I’m thinking that we spent about $35 for our Styrofoam incubator…no fan, no egg turner just basic plain jane. But, this is how we made our own. We had an old food dehydrator that had the fan and warming element on the bottom try (as well as the temperature control). Next we got a cardboard box, we had one from a computer monitor that it slid down into perfectly. One modification that we made mid-way through the first hatch was we lined the box with a heavy trash bag, it helped to hold in the moisture. Some smallish door shapes were cut in the box, just a couple of them to help control the temperature/humidity. Pop it open for a bit if it gets too warm/humid. The incubator trays were lined with cheese cloth to try and keep bits of shell from going down into the heating/fan tray. When it got close to the hatch date we put a picture frame over the top of the box so the little boy could watch the peeps break out of their shells.


rayfamily said...

We had our first experience hatching eggs in February. I loved your comment about how you guys made great broody true! :) What a creative incubator idea!

julochka said...

are you still using that method today?

and can you please ask matthew to dream of a homemade honey "slinging" machine? :-) and then send me the drawings, of course. :-)

Palmer said...

We havent hatched any chicks for a while, but I wouldnt hesitate to use that method again.
Matt is sleeping right now, but I will ask him about ideas for a honey slinging machine...what Im thinking is maybe using parts from an old hand crank ice cream machine????