Beginning to Build Our Incubator

Hey Everyone!

Well, it’s been a really nice weekend so far. Up here in Michigan the weather has been awesome. We’ve had a couple of days with a warm sun, a cool breeze and incredibly comfortable. The bakery has been doing extremely well this month (by far my best month this year) and everything is going pretty well.

As I’m sure most of you have heard, we’re working on getting coturnix quails. At the moment I’m waiting on items from Amazon to complete my incubator. For some reason Amazon has been terrible with shipping times lately. The last order I made had one set of shipping dates, then they changed and Amazon insisted that it never changed. Now I’ve made an order for incubator supplies on the 23rd and it hasn’t even been boxed yet, much less shipped out. Hopefully they get here soon because I know it’s getting colder and I don’t want to chance killing my quail eggs before they even get here.

But enough of that. This weekend we went out to Menards and bought our quail cage supplies (for when they grow up) and some incubator supplies. I’ve been working on getting the incubator together (as much as I can) so that we can be ready when the eggs show up. I want to work out all of the kinks before hand.

The Incubator

The incubator is made out of a rubbermaid storage tote, 20 gallons I believe…we have the totes left over from moving, so I just snagged one from the garage. (free)


I cut out the top of the tote a bit smaller than an 8 1/2 x 11 diploma frame (dollar store, $1). Then I took some silicone that I used to seal our bathtub and attached the glass to the top of the tote. I put a pretty good bead around to seal it, I don’t want any heat or humidity escaping.


Then I cut a hole in the back and placed a rubber light socket ($) in it. One wire comes out to connect to an extension cord ($2) I bought, cut the plug off of and split. The other socket wire will connect to a water heater thermostat ($9) and so will the other side of the extension cord (to separate connection point on the thermostat). This is my heater.

So what happens is when I plug this in, the light will turn on. Once the tote reaches the correct temperature, the thermostat will break the connection and turn the light off (I’ll go through the thermostat stuff when it comes in). I will be making modifications to the thermostat to keep the temp from swinging by more than 0.5F. It will take me a couple of days to get the temp set correctly, but it shouldn’t be too hard.


Here is the interior with the lightbulb already put in. As you can see I will have 2 dozen eggs in the incubator. I will be placing a couple water bottles to help with insulation, I’ll be wrapping the tote in a blanket (maybe) and I will be placing it on top of a blanket to insulate the bottom, nearest the eggs. There will also be another thermometer/hygrometer with the eggs and a container with water/sponge to raise the humidity.

Right now I’m waiting on the Thermostat, a computer fan (to keep air moving), the thermometer/hygrometer and a heat bulb for the brooder once they are hatched.

I think this project is going really well. I literally have no clue how to do anything with electricity, but this project is teaching me the super basics and it’s really easy to put together! I’ll have some more modifications coming up that you might find interesting, I’m particularly excited about my egg turning system. I have way too much time to sit around and think sometimes.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on with the quails at the moment. I’m still deciding on a supplier at this point. If we have a not-so-great hatch, I may order a second batch to try to boost our numbers. I’m also going a lot of research on quail eggs and the nutrition properties (which I will post about) and how to butcher quail as well. I watched a few videos today of quail culling and although it’s a bit sad, it’s not nearly as messy as chickens or larger animals. It’s a fairly simple process.

Enjoy your sunday!

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