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Thread: Incubators!

  1. #1
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    Post Incubators!

    Now there's this other thread that speaks a lot about incubators, a lot of them being home-made. I was interested in everyone's opinion regarding the commercially-available ones, as opposed to DIY models.

    The ones I found were:
    Swienty 70 cells 840,00€
    Swienty 150 cells 924,00€
    Bienen-Voigt & Warnholz 150 cells 945,00€
    Thorne 40 cells 205,83£ (looks exactly the same as this poultry incubator)
    Carricell 1298,00$ (NZD) (unkown size, 230 volts)
    Poultry incubators... like the Hatcher Cabinet Egg Incubator - 1550 which goes for 660,00$ (USD)

    Field incubators:
    Swienty 70 cells 570,00€
    Ecroyd 40 cells 458,00$ (NZD)
    Ecroyd 70 cells 477,00$ (NZD)
    Ecroyd 144 cells 523,00$ (NZD)
    BeeMaid 144 cells 645$ (CAD) (Carricell)

    Have you tried any of these, or know of any other supplier or models?
    Last edited by Dominic; 11-10-2013 at 10:14 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    http://incubatorwarehouse.com/review...3/category/62/

    This is the DIY setup you need if you wish to DIY.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    I have not used any of the incubators you are talking about. The chicken ones work good if you can hold a constant temp of 93 to 94 degree Fahrenheit and a humidity of 35%. You maybe able to make or design your self a better incubator for less money if you get a wine cooler refrigerator with glass door and an external temp. controller. To prevent large swings in temp., add thermal mass to your box such as water jugs filled up and capped so when you open the door the temp. dose not equalize with the outside uncontrolled environment. If you want something bigger look into a Flower cabinet from a florist. Some of the refrigerator boxes that you can use, you might be able to find for free as it dose not need to work. Your going to make it work for you with light bulbs or other heating devices. It is good to have two heat sources if one burns out one is still working. Put the temp sensor near the heat source so it turns off quickly. Before using your incubator you may want to run it empty for a few days to check the temp. and calibrate it to your needs.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic View Post
    Now there's this other thread that speaks a lot about incubators, a lot of them being home-made. I was interested in everyone's opinion regarding the commercially-available ones, as opposed to DIY models.


    Have you tried any of these, or know of any other supplier or models?
    Poultry incubators... like the Hatcher Cabinet Egg Incubator - 1550 which goes for 660,00$ (USD)

    In the spring we may have anywhere from 800 to 1300 cells coming off a day.

    Nice to have a big box that keeps that many warm, humidified, and has easy adjustments in the control department so we don't have to sweat it when the need arises to play "the incubator game."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Poultry incubators... like the Hatcher Cabinet Egg Incubator - 1550 which goes for 660,00$ (USD)

    In the spring we may have anywhere from 800 to 1300 cells coming off a day.

    Nice to have a big box that keeps that many warm, humidified, and has easy adjustments in the control department so we don't have to sweat it when the need arises to play "the incubator game."
    That model had my favor for the time being, though I do plan on looking at other stuff that has been suggested. Something I wondered, though: is the temperature uniform in it? Is it possible to store both cells and virgins in the same unit, or should two different units be bought?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    This is the one I use currently.
    The neat thing about this one is it cools as well as warms. And has an AC adapter-so if you need to transport queens, especially queen cells any distance, they will be kept reliably warm/cool in your rig, depending on your situation.
    Thei incubator is very good for the money. Compared to thousands for more commercial models, it is a good step above the styrofoam chicken types.




    http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/incubator.php

    Get them on Amazon.com or Ebay. I've seen them as low as $110. on ebay, but they usualy go for retail price of $135.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    When I was raising quail, and hatching hundreds of quail eggs at a time -- I wanted a full-featured incubator, that didn't have unwanted features or cost more than I wanted to pay.

    So, I designed, and built my own. I wanted a forced air version, so I purchased an old portable bonnet hair dryer, from a thrift store, and reverse engineered a solid-state thermostat (modifying the circuit, slightly, to increase its response time/sensitivity). I built a foam-lined box, the size of a small refrigerator, with a compartment below where the hair dryer forces air up and into the incubator chamber, then a collection tube, at the top of the incubator, directing return air, back down to the bottom chamber and blowing into a water-filled tray (for humidification). The hair dryer is modified, only slightly, the heating element is wired to be controlled by the thermostat, the dryer is set to blow continuously, while the incubator is on.

    This is designed with five shelves, each to hold an automatic quail egg turning rack (holding 120 quail eggs per rack [600 eggs]). This incubator has space to install an additional five shelves/racks, for a total of 1200 quail eggs per setting. I reserved a space at the bottom for a hatching tray.

    All components, except the egg turning trays, cost less than $120.

    If I needed to, I could easily reconfigure this incubator to tend to queen cells (I have other, more portable incubators). I imagine that it could accommodate a great many queen cells and/or caged queens with attendants.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 11-12-2013 at 09:37 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    You hair dryer incubator is an interesting idea.

    But my question is, what kind of wattage does that pull? Small appliances are notorious energy hogs. Just see what my small generator does with I turn on the coffee pot or try to dry my hair in hunting camp. As compared to the chicken incubator types that use only about 20 watts, if I remember right.

    I mentioned I was going to modify a Cabalas food dehydrator for an incubator, but they draw 1500 watts. But if you keep it in a fairly warm room, the heating element won't come on very often. And unlike hatching poultry eggs, hatching out queen cells may be just a few days here and there, not running 24/7 for a month. So more energy use wouldn't necessarily be a big issue.
    These go on sale around Christmas time.. but I see them regularly in the bargain basement. I picked one up for $150.00 brand new. Still in the box waiting for me to modify it a little. (Replace jet engine fan with small circ fan) They have the makings of a quality incubator that would cost you thousands if you purchased one.

    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Home-...3Bcat104294880

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    I like the dehydrator conversion idea.
    Do you think placing cells into a container that restricted air flow and moisture exchange before putting into dehydrator would work? Then you wouldn't have to change fan?

    This link might be useful to some
    The Hygrometer is accurate for a cheap product and records highest and lowest as well as present temp and humidity. The gel maintains humidity well with very little attention but of course I'm in Florida!
    http://m.thompsoncigar.com/product/H...-KIT/66395.uts

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    I wonder if that is the same as those crystals you add to potting soil to absorb and release moisture. Maybe just a sponge would do too.
    I have hatched out chicken eggs in the dehydrator with no problems in a pinch..Just kept a tray of water at all times. It could very well be you won't have to modify it at all.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    I'm not sure the liquid that you re-charge them with is propylene glycol.
    It works much better in a humidor than water

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    Anyone ever try to use those terrarium heating bulbs/lamps for reptiles? Have a small thermostat to control the heat. Inside one of those small 3'x3' refrigerators they would probably work well at keeping the temperature constant, or maybe ever a aquarium set on its side with foam insulation around it to keep constant temperatures. Small water bath to keep the humidity up or a bowl of terrasorb like Lauri said.

    Not thinking large scale, but if someone was to try to raise say 20 to 50 queens, once or twice in a summer.

    Anyone try the heat lamps? - Hehee got a cousin that just quit raising lizards and he has several lamps I bet he would let go cheap.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    What day do you pull the cells on? Do you let them hatch into a hair roller cage? I'm assuming that if you do, you put some honey in there?

    Do you have any problems with Virgin acceptance rates?

    [QUOTE=Honey-4-All;1018271]

    In the spring we may have anywhere from 800 to 1300 cells coming off a day.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    Cells come out of finishers on day 10 from graft. In the mating nucs on 11-11.5. We have not fooled around with virgins on a large scale. Have some ideas to speed up the turn around time in the mating nucs by "pre maturing" them before release in the mating nucs. Not at liberty to discuss that right now as the data is not in on a large scale.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Incubators!

    Forgot to mention, One feature I really like about both my incubators is the glass door. I can glance at the cells several times a day without having to open the door.

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