Monday, June 15, 2009

Jonathan...Mommys Got A New Project!!!

I am sure he cringes every time he hears those words!

I have wanted an incubator for EVER! And always thought they cost hundreds of dollars. And some do. But then I started reading my favorite chicken forum and found out that you could make one out of junk! I read and researched and read and researched some more. Printing out dozens of different ways to do it.

So when I got ready and made my decision, I call on my little me, Jonathan. He loves to build stuff almost as much as I do. And yes, he always has his own ideas why it should be done his way and not mine. Because he's a man and that's just what men do. But guess what, when its my project...he almost always looses.

Most homemade incubators are made from an old ice chest. I am guessing for the insulation. Didn't have one, so I used an old tote and lined it with 1 inch insulation, taped together with duck tape. Gotta love that stuff! And it's Jonathans favorite toys, with some card board, duck tape and a knife, he could build a city! Even made the lid of insulation and cut a hole to lay a piece of Plexiglas on top for my viewing pleasure.

We used 2x4's to frame the bottom and covered it with screen door wire. In the bottom is also the lights for heat. I used a string of C9 Christmas lights, unscrewing all but 5 of the bulbs. After letting it set for 24 hours, the temp was 110 degrees. So I unscrewed another bulb and it went down to 100. Perfect. Didn't realize what kind of heat those little bulbs can put off.

There is a plastic jar cut off and filled with water in the bottom also for the humidity. It is staying between 45 and 50.

He took a little fan out of his old computer to use to keep the air circulating inside and to keep the temperature constant. It is held in place by wooden shishkabob sticks stuck into the insulation. He used a 12v plug that went to an old cell phone, wired it to the fan and plugged it in. Worked like majic!

John picked me up a thermometer/humidity checker thingy at Home Depot for about $8.00. I taped it to the Plexiglas so it is easy to read.

There is also a wooden dowel that holds the egg cartons in the center of the box. They are taped to the dowel so that the eggs can be turned several times daily. They rotate side to side only about 5 or 6 inches or so. This is so the eggs will develope right inside the egg. If you have ever watched a mama hen, she is always moving the eggs around, that's why. And the dowel sticks out the side of the box so I don't have to open it to turn them and loose heat and humidity. Well, that's about it. And for 8 bucks, here's what I came home to yesterday. See him in the corner?
See why I am so obsessed with this? He is the sweetest little thing ever! Of course until the next one is hatched. But for now, he's my love!
He is so very fluffy, more so than the rest have been. I'm pretty sure he is silky all the way. He is very silver with little white tips on his wings and white under his chin. He has a white tummy and the totally cutest little white fluffy butt ever!
Oh, and 4 toes on one foot and 5 on the other. Well, nobody's perfect!
He is already hopping all over the place and singing like he's got a song you just gotta hear!
And just like me, he already loves to have his belly rubbed.
Ya'll gonna come see me? Bring food!

1 comment:

Astrid aka Flatlander said...

Looks good...I have a store bought one..(well I found it here in the shed but once it was bought)
I tried to hatch 48 eggs..2 hatched and after caring for them for a few weeks I put them in with the other girls.
One is missing I have 1 chick left.

I think I'm going to buy my chicks next time...unless you send your boy over to fix me a nice goodworking incubator ;-)