Making A Egg Incubator For Hatching Chicks

I can tell you how to make either a plywood egg incubator or a cardboard incubator for hatching those baby chicks.

To construct a cardboard box incubator which will hold about three dozen eggs you will need the following:

Two cardboard boxes, one l6" wide x 20" long x 12 1/2" high, another l4" wide x l8" long x 13" (or more) high

Single-strength pane of glass l6" x 20"

l/4"-mesh welded hardware cloth l8" x 22"

Commercial heating unit or porcelain socket and light

Cake tin (water pan) 1 1/2" deep x approximately 9" x l4"


Masking or scotch tape


Two brooding or incubator thermometers

The incubator is constructed as following:

1. Please the smaller box inside the larger one. The inner should be higher than the outer box and about two inches smaller in both length and width

2. Mark a line on the inside box about 1/4 " below the level of the outside box. Use a yardstick to make a straight line on the inner box after it is removed from the box

3. Cut off the top of the inside box along the line made in step 2.

4. Use cut-away piece of the inside box to line the bottom of the inner and outer boxes where the flaps do not meet. You could also use pieces from a third box if you don't have cut away pieces

5. Glue on the bottom of the inner box and then center the inner box in the outer one. There should be one inch between the sides of the boxes, then secure the inner box until the glue is dried.

6. Mark a line on the flaps of the outside box where they come in contact with the inner edge of the inside box.

7. Cut off the flaps of the outside box along the lines drawn on step 6. Cut the corner pieces on a diagonal so that it will make a neat, flat corner.

8. Stuff strips of newspaper lightly into the space between boxes. Do not bulge the sides of the incubator. Wood shavings, or styrofoam can be used in place of the newspaper strips.

9. Use tin snips to cut a two-inch square from each corner of the one-fourth inch mesh hardware cloth, then bend the projecting pieces of the screen down so that they form legs to support the screen.

10. Place the cake tin, which will cover about one-half of the surface area of the inside box under the hardware cloth screen.

11. Install the commercial heating element as per the directions. If you use an electric light to heat, mount the porcelain socket on a board six inches square then place the mounting board on the screen. Nex, place a tube of cardboard around the light. Position the tube so that it surrounds the light and stands like a chimney, but to reduce fire hazard do not let it come in contact with either the light or the covering glass. An oatmeal box would make a good tube.

12. Tape the flaps of the outer box to the sides of the inner box as you will be sealing the area in which the insulating material was placed.

To build a plywood incubator you will need the following:



Cake tin

1/4"- mesh welded hardware cloth

Heating unit: either a commercial unit or porcelain socket and a light bulbs

Masking tape

You may construct the incubator according to the size desired. It can be a small one for only a few eggs or it can hold several dozen eggs. The large incubator will be more difficult to maintain temperature. You may even have to put a small fan to circulate the heat.

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