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Homemade Incubator

My friend Tom sent me these plans and pictures for a homemade incubator he was using.

Interesting side note on this incubator is that Tom has since bought a Hovabator, because it is much easier to keep a constant temperature with.

Here's the plans Tom has given me for the incubator below.  Thanks again, Tom:

Sharp knife or razor


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Materials: Cost:
Styrofoam Box free from local fish store
8” X 10” Plexiglas  99 cents at Home Depot
Nightlight with 7 watt bulb  2 dollars
6 foot extension cord 2 dollars
Silicone adhesive 3 dollars from Wal-Mart
Digital Thermometer with in/out reading 10 dollars


 Cut 5” X 7” rectangle hole in Styrofoam box lid 

Use a small bead of silicone around the Plexiglas and place over rectangle hold.  This creates the viewing window and a place to attach the nightlight.

 Attach nightlight with bulb to the inside portion of the Plexiglas window using silicone.  Be sure to allow all the silicone minimum 4 hours to harden. 

 Plug-in nightlight and extension cord. Replace lid on box and allow 24 hours to stabilize the temperature.

 You should create a notch in the Styrofoam box for your cables to exit without leaving a gap and causing even more temperature fluctuations.

 I used this set-up in the 1999-breeding season.  The incubator maintained a temperature some where near 16 degrees above the room temperature.  So if the room was 70 degrees, I had a temp inside of about 86.  There are also 4-watt bulbs that I used in late summer when the room’s temperature rose above 75 degrees.

 Instead of a digital thermometer one could use a normal aquarium or terrarium thermometer also.  This would cut down on cost too.

 I used a shoe box with vermiculite as a base material and a lid with holes in it to incubate my eggs.  You could also use small deli cups with holes in the sides to allow for circulation.  Good luck with your endeavors.

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Other Incubator Instructions

Silas's Homemade Incubator Flash

Jeff Fisher's Incubator - Another one, using a refrigerator, no pics

Aquarium Incubator - Classic everyone talks about

Really cool, Large size Incubator - Dwight Good's incubator made with a 33 Gallon Storage container - very nice


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