Here is a simple DIY Incubator that anyone can build for under twenty dollars. For people looking to become food independent, breeding chickens are a great way to help along that path.
Yet there are several reasons you made need the use of an incubator instead of just letting mother nature take it’s course.
- A hen that won’t brood.
- A hen that likes the taste of eggs.
- Hens can only hatch so many eggs at a time.
- Plus it’s pretty darn cool watching the chicks hatch.
An incubator can also be used for turkeys, ducks, etc. Pretty much any fowl. As a case in point, a friend was recently mowing his field and ran over a wild turkey nest that he did not see. Luckily they were able to save some of the eggs and were able to incubate them in a set up just like this.
For those not sure where to start, Mother Earth News has an excellent article in the archives on how to hatch your chickens. Here is a brief excerpt.
Our start with chicken-raising was very cautious: a tiny flock of ten pullets and a cockerel, obtained from a hatchery. The day-old chicks were carefully tended, kept warm and protected from drafts by a homemade brooder — a cardboard carton heated with a light bulb — in our empty guestroom for a few weeks.
By the second week the babies’ wings had developed and we discovered them flying around the room and alighting on various objects. We clipped their wingtips at that point, constructed a broiler house from miscellaneous scraps of wood and wire and — when they were sufficiently grown — moved our birds to their outdoor quarters.
Five months later we discovered our first egg, and gathered the fresh, fertile layings faithfully each day for many months afterward. By the end of each week during that period, we always had at least a dozen extra for sale or gifts to friends. Meanwhile, meat prices were rising steadily and we began to consider keeping more chickens for slaughter.
Then spring rolled around again, our neighbors began ordering new chicks from the hatchery and we discovered that the cost of day–old biddies had doubled in our area. That’s when we decided to try hatching our own fertile eggs.
Good luck with your incubating endeavor!