After a recent disaster when a broody chicken stopped being broody before the eggs hatched, I’ve decided to build a fully automated incubator.
The incubator will include:
- Temperature Control
- Humidity Control
- Automatic Egg Turning
The first step was to find a suitable enclosure so that the size of the Egg Turner could be determined. I decided to use a plastic storage box as this should be easy to clean after use. The plastic box will end up inside a plywood box for insulation.
I determined that based on the size of the box, I should have the space to turn 30 eggs in three rows of 5×2 eggs.
A few quick tests of Radio Control Servos quickly proved that they had enough torque and stroke to turn the eggs so an old Hitec servo was chosen as the drive system.
I got hold of some aluminium corner, a rivet gun and a few other essentials and in no time (actually about 20 hours) had it working.
I didn’t take any photos of it prior to completion, but here are some photos of it completed.
The plan is that each “rack” will hold a 5×2 egg section cardboard egg carton. These can be replaced each time the incubator is used.
After powering it up, it turns out it’s too fast to turn the eggs from one extreme to the other, so I’ll have to use some smarts in the microcontroller to allow it to turn them gradually.