Homemade incubator turners

Written by erin ringwald | 13/05/2017
Homemade incubator turners
An egg turner is a vital part of the incubation process. (Egg image by Andrei Leczfalvi from Fotolia.com)

If you are mass breeding eggs, and the mother is not available to keep the eggs warm, an incubator is used to regulate unhatched egg temperatures. In nature, the mother turns the eggs regularly to help ensure the health of the unborn baby. If you are using an incubator to hatch eggs, you can either turn the eggs by hand on a regular basis or you can use an egg turner. Buying an egg turner is expensive; however, it possible to make one on your own manual model.

Measure the inside of your incubator to determine the maximum size of the finished egg turner.

Use a ruler to determine the exact measurements of a cardboard egg carton. The carton should have the bottom of each egg cup cut off to allow for air flow through the egg carton during incubation. The size of the egg carton determines the size of the egg turner you will be building.

Cut the pieces of PVC to match the measurements from the previous step, taking into consideration the size of the T-joints and the elbows. Use a hand saw to make the cuts. After you finish cutting you should have two longer pieces of PVC and four shorter pieces of PVC.

Construct the six pieces of PVC together using PVC cement glue to secure them in place. Place the two longer pieces on the ends. The four shorter pieces should be held together with the T-joint in the centre. Once constructed you will have a four-sided square or rectangle, depending on the shape of your incubator and egg carton. Turn the unconnected part of the T-joints outward.

Insert the four-sided frame you constructed in the previous step into the incubator. Place the egg carton into the frame. Use a pencil to indicate the location of the outward pointing T-joints. Make a hole in the side of the incubator at these marked locations. The holes should be just larger than the size of the PVC piping.

Cut a 60 cm (2 foot) piece of PVC in half. Insert the cut ends of the PVC pipe through the holes in the size of your incubator. Insert the ends of the cut pipe into the outward turned T-joint. Use cement glue to attach the pieces together.

Turn the two protruding PVC pieces to turn the egg carton, completing your egg turner.

Tip

Using a manual egg turner is an effective way to turn all your eggs at once. Since turning each egg by hand is time consuming, you can ensure you turn the eggs in a quicker period of time and all at the same degree. When choosing an egg carton to work with, select one that not only has enough cells for the number of eggs you will incubate, but is also slightly smaller than the incubator. This helps prevent the egg turner from throwing the eggs all over the incubator and possibly cracking them prematurely. When determining the size of the PVC pieces, consider that each corner will consist of an PVC elbow and each longer side will have a T-joint. These pieces will add to your finished product's overall shape and size.

Things you need

  • Ruler
  • Cardboard egg carton
  • PVC T-joints
  • PVC elbows
  • PVC pieces
  • Handsaw
  • PVC cement glue
  • Pencil

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