A Homemade Incubator
By Brandi Tait, Alabama
This incubator is small, but you can go larger if you use a fan to move the heat. I like to start with between four and nine eggs to improve the chances of hatching with the small incubator.
• Take your heat lamp apart. Put the socket on top of a Styrofoam cooler lid and trace the outline of the socket, so you can cut a hole that it will fit perfectly through. Let the cord run out and make sure you can reach the on/off switch from the outside.
• Take an 8-by-10-inch picture frame, remove the paper and cut it about 1/2-inch off of each side of the paper. Use it to trace the viewing window in front of the cooler.
• Duct tape the glass to attach it to the cooler inside the window frame.
• Plug in your incubator! You are ready to test it out. Place the thermometer/hygrometer and a small bowl of water inside the incubator.
• Punch a few holes into each side of the incubator for ventilation.
• Don’t put your eggs in yet! The incubator needs to run a few days so you can get the temperature and humidity where it needs to be. The temperature needs to be at 99.5°F and humidity at 50 percent for days one to 18, and then 60 to 70 percent for the last few days. You will need to turn the eggs three to four times per day.
Styrofoam cooler with lid ($1.88)
Heat lamp ($10)
8-by-10 picture frame with glass ($1)
Duct tape ($3)
Small bowl of water
15-watt lightbulb (4 for $1)
Small Plastic fan (optional)
Flashlight or candler
Total cost: $21.87
Brandi Tate made a similar brooder box out of cardboard boxes and says, “It’s recycling at its best!” She writes from her home in Chunchula, Alabama.