(The Reluctant Farmer's Do-It-Yourself Chicken Egg Incubator)
The Reluctant Farmer is the Chicken Guy around here: we all enjoy the eggs, we all enjoy having the chickens around, but they are his thing, really.
So, when he took it into his head that we need some more chicks (mostly to replace aging layers, and some to sell, or eat, as well), he also figured that the most cost effective way to go about this was to use an incubator and hatch out some of the fertilized eggs we have here. No need to buy day old chicks when you have a ready supply of hatchable eggs sitting in your hen houses!
However, incubators are expensive devices.
So, the obvious thing to do was to build one!
After much Googling, a trip to Canadian Tire and some digging around in the basement treasure trove of useful stuff, we have a functioning incubator:
It is a styrofoam cooler with a light fixture installed in the lid (from a damaged lamp), a computer fan (from Princess Auto, although I am not sure why it was purchased), a 12 volt adpater (of uncertain provenance), a thermometer (Canadian Tire), and a dish of water (from the Tupperware drawer). Oh, and a CD case.
The light fixture keeps the temperature inside warm enough to allow the eggs to develop: holes poked in the sides of the cooler allow us to adjust up or down - we poke more holes if it's too hot inside, and we stick tape over the holes if it gets too chilly. The water dish keeps the humidity high enough, and the fan circulates the warm air to keep the temperature even. The CD case became a window so we can check on the temperature (and, in 3 weeks, watch for hatching eggs!).
Pretty good for under $15, eh?
Check back in 3 weeks to see if we get hatchlings!