So it is official, our first incubator failed. Not put off, I found a styrofoam box that I had been sent something in from overseas and I decided to try and re-make the incubator and order some fresh eggs.
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The first thing I did was make my own “water-wriggler” because I am cheap and impatient.
It is basically a snap-lock bag half filled with water then placed inside of another then taped into a cylinder. In the middle of the water tube I have placed the end of my cheese making thermometer.
This will give me a better idea of the temperature actually inside the liquid of the egg.
Inside the incubator box I filled two pickle jars with warm water in the box that sits next to the computer fan and light bulb and under my new styrofoam box. These will act as a heat sink and help stabilize the temperature.
To let the heat and fresh air into the styrofoam box I cut two 1 inch holes on the end where the light bulb and the fan are. I also poked a 1 cm square hole on the opposite end to put the thermometer into the water tube through.
I was struggling using a 60W lamp, it was too hot so I had to have lots of holes in the box to let the heat out, so that also let all the humidity out. So in my 2.0 version I have reduced down to a 40W light bulb and taped over the holes in the outside box.
I cut a hole in the top of they styrofoam box and covered it with the front of an old CD case, and taped it down well. This gives me a window to check the temperature/humidity on my thermometer through.
I have also added a glass jar of water into the top box as a second heat sink.
I have found that two sets of two sponges keeps the humidity up, and I have to cover the box at night to keep it warm enough.
I ran the box for a full 48 hours to ensure I could keep the temperature and humidity stable before I added our new batch of eggs.
I poked the thermometer through to the water tube from the outside:
I have given up on our auto-turner for now, I am checking their temperature so often anyway (paranoid much?) So I may as well turn them while I am there.
Fingers crossed this 2.0 version works!
Update: We ended up giving up on our home made egg incubator and bought a basic 24 egg incubator. We have had much greater success with it.
We were having trouble keeping the temperature stable, with the eggs closer to the heater dying of too much heat, and the ones on the other side were too cold to develop.
To remedy this, we added a folded towel over the top of the whole incubator, and this had wonderful success!