Since the season of spring is sneaking around, there are many poultry lovers out there who are planning to incubate the chicken eggs.

Incubation is a passion for many bird lovers and it is something that they enjoy doing it.

These days, incubation is the in the trend since many of us are aware of the incubation of eggs. Above all, hatching eggs of chicken can be the fun family project too and the very first thing that poultry lovers think about.

This family fun project needs more attentions at every single factor, and this is only possible if you have effective automated or homemade incubator.

For automated, you will need to spend a huge amount, and if you pick the cheapest one, then it may not work well as wanted. So, planning to build it at home is a perfect choice and affordable too.

In this mega guide, we have shared the complete knowledge about how to build incubator at home. This guide is handy for those who never tried to create it at home. Follow each step and learn easy methods for building it.

This homemade incubator mega guide covers all the essential aspect of building it. If you are planning for hatching, make sure you read the whole article. This is a long article, if you are in a hurry, better you bookmark the link and read it later.

Before we describe the complete process of building incubator at home, let we understand what it is?

What Is Incubator?

This is a machine, or we can say a device which uses to hatch the eggs. Typically, it is used to keep the chicken eggs warm. Even if there is no hen you can use this device to hatch the eggs. We can find the major usage of an incubator in a farmhouse, backyard of the home, or in a classroom as a project for the students.

Just because it plays the role of hen, the primary purpose of this device is to set perfect environment for incubation. It is possible to produce eggs of different species such as bird’s eggs.

Various Types of Incubation

Typically, there are two types of incubation one is natural and another is artificial.

  • Natural Incubation is a natural process of hatching chicken eggs, in which the broody hen is used for hatching. This incubation needs lots of work, care, and attention. And the process of this incubation contains some stages such as find broody hen, fertile eggs, set up a broody nesting box and many other things. But the best part about this incubation, there is no need for electricity and the hen do all the work.
  • Artificial Incubation is mainly manufactured incubation in which there is no need of hen. This requires electricity. There are certain types of artificial incubation such as forced air incubation and still air incubation.

Above mentioned are the popular types of incubation. Now, let see what are the different types of the homemade incubator are.

Types of Homemade Incubator

There are many different types. We are going to list some of the famous which are very easy to build and cheapest homemade chicken egg incubator.

  • Kitchen Cabinet Incubator is one of the favorite among the poultry lovers. This is built with an old kitchen cabinet. Thus, it is very easy to turn the kitchen cabinet into an ultimate device.
  • Gallon Aquarium Incubator is another cheap egg incubator. With simple gallon aquarium, it is very easy and quick to setup homemade chicken incubator.
  • Rubbermaid Tote Incubator is made with plastic material. These are very easy and perfect for cleaning between hatches.It’s also easy to build at home.
  • Double Cardboard Box Incubator is very easy to install. The tools are required to construct are two cardboard, wool or strips of newspaper, and all these tools will keep the box’s temperature consistent to hatch chicken eggs.
  • Styrofoam Cooler Incubator is one of the cheapest homemade incubators and requires a small place to install.
  • Drawer Incubator is one of the best for maintaining temperatures during incubation, and it is interesting to create as well. Two attached old or recycled drawers require building an incubator. This homemade egg incubator would have good depth for hatching.

With each of these types of homemade incubators, there is a wide variety of ways to assemble each one. Apart from all these, choices of tools to build homemade egg incubator depend on the person that how he/she want to construct it.

Let’s move ahead and see the process of building chicken egg incubator at home.

How To Build?

Setting up homemade chicken egg incubator is very easy and quick. As the Styrofoam cooler, this is the cheapest one. In this mega-guide, we have covered the process of building it from Styrofoam cooler. The best part of creating this you can re-purpose the things which are already available at your home.

To build cheap egg incubator, you will need substance and equipment to assemble homemade egg incubator. Here is the list of equipment and substance to craft homemade chicken or egg incubator.

Substances Required Building Homemade Incubator                                                                                                    

  • Styrofoam cooler
  • 1 25 watts bulb
  • 1 bottle lamp assembly
  • 1 hot water heater(lower) thermostat
  • 1 old computer fan
  • 12V transformer
  • A piece of plastic from picture frame
  • 1 water dish
  • 1/2” hardware cloth
  • 1 indoor/outdoor probe type thermometer
  • ½ cup salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • Large zip plastic bag
  • 1 mag-lite flashlight
  • Fertile eggs

Equipment Required Building Homemade Incubator

  • Marker or pen, to make mark on cooler
  • Wire cutter
  • Serrated knife, to cut some portion of cooler
  • Leather Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Drill bit
  • Tin snip

Process To Build

Above list contains all the things such as substances and equipment to build a homemade chicken incubator. Now let’s dive into the process and build the homemade egg incubator. Follow the below steps.

Step 1: Prepare The Lid With The Window

First of all, you have to build the lid. For that, take the top of Styrofoam cooler and the plastic from an old picture frame. Put the plastic on the top of the lid of the cooler and make a line around the plastic.

Now, with the help of a serrated knife cut inside the marked line around half an inch and cover the area with plastic. Use duct tape at the edges to secure the plastic and cover the edges of the glass.

Step 2: Install Hardware Cloth and Water Dish

You have the lid. For the homemade chicken egg incubator, first take the hardware cloth and ensure that it is aluminium based. With the help of a tip, snip makes a rack which fits into the cooler.

Make sure you wore the leather gloves; otherwise, you may cut your hand. Once you did with hardware cloth, take a water dish and put it at the bottom of the cooler. This will provide more surface area for the water and the hardware cloth rack. This is not it, the water dish will also help with the humidity.

Step 3: Make Hole For The Bulb

You have probably built the base in the cooler of it. To provide the heat, it is important to install the 25-watt bulb inside the cooler. Before installing the bulb, you have to make a hole in the surface area of the cooler.

To do this, take a help of drill bit and cut out the area which you think the best place to fit the bulb and can keep the light low in the box. A 3/4” or 1/2’’ drill will work to dig into the side of the cooler.

Step 4: Install The Bulb

Take a lamp assembly, which has a hole in the side of the base of the lamp. Lamp assembly has an open side so that the bulb can be wired straight and quickly from the side of the bottom.

Run the wire outside through the wall of the cooler, through the base of the lamp. Connect them and seal the base to close everything with the help of duct tape. This will look neatly and hidden.

Step 5: Attach The Bulb With The Thermostat

On the assembly lamp, the ribbed wire of the bulb has to be connected to the silver screw of the thermostat. To connect the same, take a help of about 8’’ long cord. Cut the both ends of the cable.

Now connect the lamp assembly and thermostat with this 8” wire. Attach the one side of the stripped wire to the lamp assembly and another side of the stripped wire to the silver screw of the thermostat.

Make sure wire runs through the base of the silver screw of the thermostat and inside the cup base of the lamp assembly. Shut the cup base of the lamp assembly.

Now, carefully cut the inside edges of the hole that you made to install the lamp assembly. This will help you keep everything snug and tight. And also carefully cut away around the bolt opening. This will keep assembly screws together snug and tight, so the bulb will not shake around.

Put the duct tape over the terminals of the thermostat for the safety.

Step 6: Install Old Computer Fan Into The Cooler

In this step, we will install and connect old computer fan to be installed in it. Cut the ends of 12V transformer wire and computer fan cable. Connect the red wire of computer fan to the plain black of the 12V transformer and plain black wire of computer fan to black with a white stripe of the 12V transformer. Another yellow colored wired of computer fan will remain. Nothing to do with yellow wire, put the duct tape over the end of the wire.

Secure the wiring with duct tape, make sure it is resistant to the electricity and then wire the nuts. Put the wired fan at the upper corner of the cooler and install it at that place. The reason behind putting this at the corner is to provide more airflow inside it.

Step 7: Make Ventilation Holes

Incubator required minimum 4 ventilation holes, as developing chick needs more oxygen. These 4 holes will be helpful for eggs to breathe.

Cut out 4 ventilation holes, 1/2” – 1” square, position two at the bottom side of the side wall of lamp assembly installed and two at the top side of the opposite side of the side wall of lamp assembly installed.

After creating 4 holes many people throw the pieces of Styrofoam. Do not throw them. These pieces of Styrofoam will be used to plug them back in the last 3 days of hatching chicken eggs.

Step 8: Adjust Thermometer

Mix ½ cup of salt and ¼ cup of water to prepare a thick slurry. Put the bowl of this slurry into the zip plastic bag along with the thermometer and close it completely. Leave this bag at room temperature for several hours or overnight. Make sure that water doesn’t touch the thermometer.

Step 9: Add Humidity Into The Cooler

You have already put the water dish at the bottom of the cooler, fill it with warm water. After you have finished all the installation, you have to make sure that the temperature to be as close to 99.5F as you can provide, with the humidity to be about 50% for the first 18 days and the last 3 days humidity should be 70%. The important thing is that never let the water dish go dry. So check it on a regular basis.

Step 10: Stabilize The Temperature and Humidity and Put The Chicken Eggs

Put your thermometer at the bottom with the water dish. Stabilize temperature and humidity and mentioned in the recent step number 9. Run it at least for two days without putting eggs inside. During this time check it many times a day to ascertain that the temperature remains within the 99F-101F range and 50% humidity.

Once you tasted it, you may put chicken eggs inside it and maintain the temperature and humidity. While putting the eggs inside ensure that it is at room temperature. It will take time like several hours to come up to working temperature. This is okay, and it is normal.

This is it. The process of building the cheap homemade chicken egg incubator ends here. Build it at home quickly. And don’t forget light up the viability of the eggs after 4-5 days to let the cool off the eggs a littler, not too much. This will help to hatch the eggs successfully.

Benefits Of Homemade Incubator

Now, you are familiar with the complete process of the homemade incubator and know this is the cost effective process to build this one at your home. There are some benefits of using a homemade chicken egg incubator. Let take a look at the list of benefits.

  • The first most benefit is that it is inexpensive as compared to the other market-made. So instead of using automatic one bought from the market it is good to build at your home.
  • To build it, you might found most of the every equipment and substance/material at home. You can find the plastic picture frame, old computer fan, dish and most important the Styrofoam cooler. So it costs even less than you think. Just found the materials and you are ready to go to build.
  • Very few things you may need to buy from the market like hardware cloth, eggs, 12V transformer and few more.
  • On top of this, you will have the satisfaction of building it with the recycled things.
  • You can raise rare breeds of chickens. So this is not only good but a great thing to do for the historical ethics of all livestock breeds.
  • There is no need for a hen to hatch the chicken eggs.
  • There is no need for the large space.
  • It is great learning experience for you and children.
  • And finally one of the best reasons is an incredible thing to be the witness and be a part of all the things from the building it to the hatching eggs.

Above all and few more benefits are the reasons, or I can say why you should build it at home.

Summary Of The Article

Many people love to build incubator at home. This mega guide will guide the beginners and also those individuals who feel stuck their self at some stage of building chicken egg incubator.

Bookmark this link, share with your family and friends and suggest this guide to your neighbour to build homemade chicken egg incubator.