I'm new to keeping chickens (1 year) and have 10 hens at present that free range on my property all day and we lock them up at night. Just after Easter I purchased a 3 week old rooster.
It's time to build an incubator! I thought I'd share my project as it goes along and maybe ask questions and hopefully anyone interested can learn from the mistakes I'll make before they make their own!
I'll be building it in out of a small cupboard that I built as a sample for my kitchen. I'd like to make it fully automated. Which leaves me with a few problems to solve:
Temperature I plan to control with a computer fan and an STC-1000 temperature controller that I purchased from eBay for $13AUD. I have used these before in my home brew temperature controller. Basically you set a temperature and plug in a cooler (chest freezer) and a heater (heat mat or band) and the controller will heat or cool as needed. I figured this will be perfect and I will just need the heat control portion attached to a heat lamp.
It also gives a digital read out of the temperature.
Humidity I plan to control with a very similar unit. It looks more or less identical but has a wet bulb thermometer to measure relative humidity and will power a humidifier if needed to raise the humidity. Can find them for around $25.
I plan to use a pond mist maker. It's basically a unit that vibrates at a high frequency and when submerged under water will create mist. They are around $8.
Lastly the egg turner I plan to build out of timber and use a 12v motor that I bought for $11 to turn the eggs. It will be attached to a 12v timer that I purchased for $6. It's designed to turn on lights at different times but should suit my needs and I can turn eggs up to 8 times a day.
I've purchased everything I need except the mist maker and humidity controller and have started by building a small circuit that will run the computer fan. Which needs 12v and 5v for the speed control. I may or may not need to slow the fan but I'm building in the ability just in case and because it's fun to learn new things!
I'll post updates and pictures along the way!