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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Tuckasegee, NC
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    59

    Default Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    I would like to make a small and simple incubator to hold at the most 45 cells for 24-36 hours. So, I can pull cells the night before I take them to their new home. I have looked at chicken incubators for sale and homemade ones online. Anyone have experience making one? Oh, yea electricity scares me so i need it real simple like me.
    Thanks
    Devlin Wilde
    Zone 7a 2600 ft in WNC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,012

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    If you want it easy and really are afraid of electricity. then buy one.
    Otherwise here is the best place I know for directions on how to make home made incubators.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubator-incubator

    I have made 4 so far. three with hot water heater thermostats. on e with the temp controller shown in this article. The incubator I use for queen cells is a styro box about 18 X 18 inches and the walls are about 2 inches thick. quite a bit of overkill on that for queen cells. I run it with a lamp fixture and a temp controller. the temp controller solves a lot of problems since the WH stat needs to be readjusted depending on the ambient temp.

    Again just my recommendation. If you cannot figure out how to get one made from that article. Buy one. Mess up and you can set things on fire. The bulb is a heat source. it will melt the styro.

    My big incubator is a over sized refrigerator with a full glass front on it. runs with 2 250 watt heat lamps and a water heater stat. It will hold 120 degrees night and day setting outside in a blizzard. Again way overkill for queen cells. This one cures a couple grand in tobacco a year for me.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tuckasegee, NC
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Thanks, Maybe scared is too strong a word, more like apprehensive. I can follow directions but I have limited experience with wiring, so I would both like to make one and not start a fire. These look doable.
    Devlin Wilde
    Zone 7a 2600 ft in WNC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    We just bought a couple of cheap styrofoam incubators from our local farm store and mounted the "guts" in a well insulated hive body. Whatever you choose be sure and do lots of testing beforehand with an electronic indoor/outdoor type of thermometer that shows the high and low temps. Make sure it holds a proper temp 89 to 93 (depending on cell age) in the environment where you will be using it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Jim, can you expand on that cell age/ temp line??? I hadn't heard that before and have just shot for 90Deg.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tuckasegee, NC
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Do you think forced air is better or is it ok ether way?
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    If you want it easy and really are afraid of electricity. then buy one.
    Otherwise here is the best place I know for directions on how to make home made incubators.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/incubator-incubator

    I have made 4 so far. three with hot water heater thermostats. on e with the temp controller shown in this article. The incubator I use for queen cells is a styro box about 18 X 18 inches and the walls are about 2 inches thick. quite a bit of overkill on that for queen cells. I run it with a lamp fixture and a temp controller. the temp controller solves a lot of problems since the WH stat needs to be readjusted depending on the ambient temp.

    Again just my recommendation. If you cannot figure out how to get one made from that article. Buy one. Mess up and you can set things on fire. The bulb is a heat source. it will melt the styro.

    My big incubator is a over sized refrigerator with a full glass front on it. runs with 2 250 watt heat lamps and a water heater stat. It will hold 120 degrees night and day setting outside in a blizzard. Again way overkill for queen cells. This one cures a couple grand in tobacco a year for me.
    Devlin Wilde
    Zone 7a 2600 ft in WNC

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Great link, Daniel!
    Thank You!

    I guess I'll build the light bulb incubator - I made a recurve bow / long bow / crossbow prod lamination heat box with light bulbs a long time ago, I'll add a sight window to it, and still use it for both! It already has a thermometer, I may add a thermostat as well. Thanks again for the link!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Yes some good stuff in Daniels link but if light bulbs are your heat source I think I would fashion some sort of shield to deflect the direct light from hitting the cells, or possibly just painting the bulbs with a heat resistant black paint. The solar gain with direct light contact on the cells could be a problem. Something to experiment with before actual use for sure.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Caledonia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    I built one out of a 8 bottle wine cooler that I bought for $50. I then removed the 2 fans from the back as well as the thermo electric gizmo. I reversed the fan in the cooler so that it is plowing towards the front door(it was originally plowing toward the thermo electric gizmo or towards the back). This circulates the warm air. I bought a Ranco ETC from Honey Run Apiaries to control the temp. I use 2 40 watt clear bulbs for heat. I put a small bowl of water in it for humidity. I set the temp controller to turn off at 92 and turn on at 91. With this setting it will bring the temp to 94. This is due to residual heating from the metal light shroud being heated by the light bulbs below it.

    Sorry about the size of the photos. I really wish I knew how to make them smaller!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tuckasegee, NC
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Thanks, I am feeling better about doing this.
    Devlin Wilde
    Zone 7a 2600 ft in WNC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,188

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    > Sorry about the size of the photos. I really wish I knew how to make them smaller!

    If all you want to do is resize a photo, an online site like this:
    http://www.resizeyourimage.com/
    is very easy and fast.

    If you want an excellent photo editor that can easily and simply do resizing, along with a host of other things, Irfanview is great, and its free!
    http://www.irfanview.com/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Caledonia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Thanks Radar Sidetrack, I just downloaded a image resizer app.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,012

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    As far as air movement. I needed to incubate chicken eggs. it helps even out the heat all through the chamber. but we are talking about tenths of a degree differences. for queen cells I do not use any air movement equipment. Make an incubator get to where you can hatch eggs. everything else is extremely easy after that.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,012

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    On the issue of the light bulb. definitely use some sort of shield between the bulb and the cells. It has been so long since I had that one figured out it is automatic for me now. Cover some cardboard in aluminum foil works as a shield.

    You also might want to consider a ceramic heat bulb made for heating reptile cages. expensive but they do not wear out as readily and less heat concerns.

    Wine coolers make great incubators and look nice if you want to keep them in the house.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildeman View Post
    Thanks, Maybe scared is too strong a word, more like apprehensive. I can follow directions but I have limited experience with wiring, so I would both like to make one and not start a fire. These look doable.
    The thermostat is about as basic as you can get and go beyond simply cutting a wire. In fact that is exactly what a thermostat or temp controller is doing. just disconnecting a wire. SO when wiring it you do not need to work with one of the two wires at all. the controller or stat simply goes into a wire you cut. Hope that makes since. It is probably more likely you can find a wiring diagram for a switch. but it is the same thing. A thermostat is just a switch that the temperature turns on and off.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Need plans for Queen cell incubator

    Thanks to everyone, this makes an excellent thread. Great suggestions, links, advice. I'll definitely shield the light bulbs, and install a computer fan for air circulatiuon, and work out a great temperature controller. I may still have my copies of the Encyclopedia of Electronic Circuits, a rather handy series of books.

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