How to Make a Finch Incubator for Birds

Written by marcus twyman
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How to Make a Finch Incubator for Birds
make a finch incubator (Zebra Finch image by Mike Price from

Finches are wonderful little birds who come in a wide range of colours and appearances. They have a habitat range that spans the globe and for centuries they have been captive bred resulting in the introduction of many new colour patterns and physical appearances. Some species of captive bred finches are known to be poor incubators for their eggs causing the hobbyist to need to come up with other means by which to hatch the birds' eggs. A great rule of thumb for any bird breeder, especially those who focus on finches, would be to make an incubator to have handy in case a need should arise.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic shoebox with lid
  • Small dish sponge
  • Light socket attached to extension cord
  • Aluminium foil
  • Contractor adhesive
  • Drill with 1/8 bit
  • Pencil
  • Finch eggs
  • Water
  • 60 watt light bulb
  • Thermometer

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  1. 1

    Drill eight holes into all four sides of the box. The holes allow air to circulate within the shoebox's confines.

  2. 2

    Attach the aluminium foil to the inside of the shoebox lid using the contractor adhesive. Foil acts like an insulator and helps to keep the interior of the shoebox at the appropriate temperature for incubating the eggs.

  3. 3

    Glue the light socket inside of the shoebox. The Contractor adhesive should be applied to the outside surface of the socket and then attached to one of the shoebox's interior sides.

  4. 4

    Moisten the sponge and set it in one of the box's corners. The sponge will add moisture to the hot dry air inside of the Shoebox. This is important for the baby birds that are growing inside of the eggs.

  5. 5

    Draw an "X" on one side of each egg's sides and then turn them 180 degrees and mark their other side with a "O". Turn the eggs at least three times a day to ensure proper chick development.

  6. 6

    Screw the light bulb into the light socket and place the thermometer into one of the holes in the side of the shoebox. Turn the light on and wait for about half an hour so that the temperature in the box reaches its maximum temperature. The temperature needs to be between 36.7 degrees Celsius and 37.8 degrees Celsius. Add aluminium foil if the temperature is too low or take some away if it is too high.

  7. 7

    Once the temperature is correct place the eggs into the bottom of the shoebox and place the lid on top.

Tips and warnings

  • Research the time it takes for the particular species of finch being raised to hatch from an egg. The average for most are 17 days from the time incubation starts but the time can be longer or shorter.

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