How to Create an Egg Incubator for Wild Bird Eggs

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Line a medium sized shoebox with cloths.,
Add two to four small stuffed animals.,
Fill a small cup of water for humidity.,
Find a small heat lamp.,
Buy a digital thermometer and a humidity gauge.,
Heat the box.,
Determine the species of your eggs.,
Place the eggs in the incubator.,
Put the box in indirect sunlight.,
Monitor the temperature.,
Watch the humidity level.,
Rotate the eggs a several times a day.,
Replace the box lid when you switch off the lamp.

Lay a small, soft cloth on the bottom of the box. Roll up two rags like a burrito and lay them together in the box to form a circle or a ring in the middle. The width of the ring will depend on how many eggs you have an how large they are., The number depends on how large the stuffed animals are and how much room you have in the box. Arrange them around the circumference of the circle to enclose the egg more for warmth. Make sure the stuffed animals are big enough to press against the sides of the shoebox and push the rags closer to the eggs.

, Place it in the corner of the box to prevent spills. Refill the water daily or as the water level goes down with evaporation. Check the water at least twice a day., Look for an inexpensive one at charity shops or garage sales. For a high-quality lamp, shop at your local pet supply store. Buy a lamp with an adjustable neck that you can reposition to achieve the ideal temperature., Digital readouts make it easier to track temperatures to the tenth of a degree. You’ll need this kind of precision when incubating eggs. Look for these instruments in any big box store. Many locations sell single devices that measure both temperature and humidity., Position the lamp so that the light is shining into the box. Place the thermometer and humidity gauge in the location you’ll place the eggs. Aim for a temperature of about 98.6 °F (37.0 °C) and a humidity level between 55 and 70 percent., This will help you to recreate the ideal temperature and humidity level. Take the eggs to your local extension office for identification. You can also visit several online resources, such as:

The Audubon Society’s Guide to North American Birds (U.S., Canada, Mexico)The Woodland Trust (UK)The Cornell Lab of OrnithologySialis, Lay them in the washcloth ring you set up. Place them side by side. Don’t lay them on top of each other. Otherwise, you could break them during rotation.

, Sunlight provides more warmth without lowering the humidity. Keep the box out of direct sunlight, which could raise the temperature to dangerous levels. You could put the box in an west-facing window in the morning or an east-facing window in the afternoon. If the weather is warm enough, put the box outside in a semi-shaded spot out of the reach of predators during the day.

Depending on the species of the bird, longer periods of daylight might make your eggs hatch a bit sooner., Turn off the heat lamp if the temperature goes above 101 °F (38 °C). Keep it off until the temperature drops to the ideal level. If you notice the heat getting too high on a regular basis, try repositioning the lamp., The exact level depends on the species you’re incubating.Add more water to raise the humidity. If you keep getting readings above 70 percent, reduce the amount of water you have in the incubator.

, Don’t spin them, just turn them. You could buy a mechanical egg rotator at your local farm supply store. However, if you’re around the incubator regularly, you can rotate the eggs by hand. How often you need to rotate them depends on the species, but the average rate is about two rotations per hour., Most species can handle cool temperatures as low as 61 °F (16 °C), so it shouldn’t hurt the eggs if you switch off the lamp when you go to sleep.Replacing the lid will help to lock in some heat overnight. Just remember to remove the lid and turn the heat lamp back on in the morning. Set a reminder for yourself to be on the safe side.

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