DIY Cabinet Egg Incubator
The steps for building a cabinet incubator are very similar to building a smaller, table-top incubator.
1. Know what it takes to have an effective cabinet egg incubator
See our other pages for information regarding temperature, humidity, air circulation, rotating the eggs, and sanitation. This will help you know what the incubator needs to do in order to have a successful hatch. Keep in mind that a larger incubator has more potential to have cool and warm spots, so good circulation will be key.
2. Determine the design you want to use for your cabinet
The most common cabinet sized egg incubators on the market today hold around 270 chicken eggs. A great benefit to building the cabinet yourself is that you get to determine the size and thus the holding capacity of your incubator.
There are many designs to choose from. You can go as simple as adding the 225 Watt IncuKit to a refrigerator and manually turn your eggs, or as sophisticated as a custom made insulated container with a perfectly automated egg turner and auto humidity control. You are free to choose how simple or complicated you would want to make it. Here are a few common methods:
a.) One of the most common methods of building your own cabinet egg incubator is to use an old refrigerator. This method has some significant benefits. They are well insulated and the doors are designed to seal well. They also are a ready-made box that already has shelves built in. The disadvantages are that you may not be able to find the perfect size you would like and they don't have viewing windows. But windows can always be added, so don't let that part deter you. And many sizes of fridges will allow you to simply insert two or three readily available automatic egg turner (such as the Little Giant 6300 or the Hova-Bator 1611).
b.) Another common option is to start from scratch and make your own box for the incubator. For the average cabinet maker, this is a simple task. For the rest of us, this can be a little more intense. But very doable! And this has the distinct advantage of you being able to choose your own specific size. We have found YouTube.com to be a great source for cabinet incubator ideas.
Here are a few fun videos:
3. Gather all of the components for your incubator
4. Gather the tools needed to build the cabinet incubator
Based on what you have for your container and egg turner, you may need saws, drills, basic hand tools and knives to build your incubator. Know what you will need and have the required tools handy so you focus on building the incubator and not searching for tools.
5. Now the fun part: Build it!
Don't be too hard on yourself if your first try doesn't produce the perfect incubator. Many people make one just to get some experience. They then test it out, determine what works and what doesn't and apply that knowledge to their next incubator. Have fun with it! But keep in mind that when it comes time to start actually incubating eggs, you're working with a living thing. Have respect for that life and do your very best.