1. Hi Darren,how are doing?I have something much the same as this to make an incubator.It is called a HERPSTAT 2,i bought them from SPIDER ROBOTICS to use on my heat mats to germinate my seeds in the Spring.I plug my heat mats into them and put the thermostats under the mats.They have 2 outlets on them so a can use 2 mats on one control both at different temperatures,they work great.They work by reducing the power going into the mats,they can control the temperature by a tenth of a degree.Yes,i have added chickens to the garden,i bought them last April and they have been laying for a month now.I took pictures of them and added them to my garden page.I have two breeds,both heritage breeds that are good for our climate.They are White Chanteclers and Buff Orpingtons,i paid $12 each for them as day old chicks.I bought 20 Chanteclers and 14 Buff Orpingtons and ended up with 17 pullets and 17 rosters out of the bunch.I found them to be a little expensive so i kept back two roosters,one of each breed,and butchered the rest.This way i can hatch my own eggs next year.I bought an incubator for $400 this year but it only hold 20 eggs.So i have decided to make my own much like yours only a bit bigger and i can run 2 off the Herpstat 2.I have been asked already by someone to hatch them some of the white one’s so it should be interesting.I won’t put the roosters with the hens until the end of February,so it will give me something to mess around with though the Winter.By the way,we had a foot of snow yesterday,our fourth snowfall of the Winter.It is -24C this morning,so it is a bit cold for anything yet.There is getting quite a market here now for free range eggs,i manage to sell all the extra eggs that i have quite easy.I have more pullets coming tomorrow,so that will boost the supply a bit.Let me know how you go on with your eggs,i will keep my eye open for your results.Cheers Bob.

    • @Bob: Thanks for the update! I’m always interested to hear from other people doing similar stuff to me, and it’s great to share ideas. The herpstat controller looks like it was designed for reptile keepers (herpetologists), so should be perfect for running an incubator. Much fancier than my little cheapie Fridgemate :-).

      It sounds like you’re doing really well with the chickens, and got to stock your freezer with roosters as well! Chicks do seem to sell for a lot – you might make a bit of cash by value-adding your eggs, turning them into chicks :-).

      I’ll post again when these eggs finish incubating in about 3 weeks. I’m not expecting a particularly high hatch rate, as my hens are 4-5 years old now and fertility definitely drops off with age. Still, if I get 2 or 3 females out of the exercise, I’ll be happy. I can then breed from them next year, and get better hatch rates.

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