How to make a Cooler Incubator for Ball Python Eggs.

Here are instructions and pictures showing how I made a nine - twelve clutch Ball Python egg incubator out of a large cooler. This incubator works really well and the only requirement for using it is it has to be put on a level surface on top of a rack or something. This is so the door can open with out disturbing the eggs inside. You will understand what I mean after you see the pictures. As far as parts go the most expensive thing is the Thermostat but even when you have outgrown this incubator you can still reuse all of the parts including the cooler. You put the wiring through the drain plug so you donít even have to drill any holes in it. Here is a picture of a Cooler Incubator sitting on top of one of my old setups.

 

ballincubator_1

As you cans see I am using a 120 Quart Igloo Cooler and in this picture I am using an older style Helix Thermostat (which was replaced some time ago) but any good Proportional Thermostat will do the job. The 120-Quart Igloo Cooler is available at Wal-Mart for $69.84 (current price 7/3/17). If they don’t already have it in stock they will deliver it to your nearest store so you don’t even have to pay shipping. Cool. Here is the link to the cooler I use. 120 Quart Igloo Cooler

The next thing you will notice in this picture is the High Low Alarm. I use a Control Company 4143 High Low Thermometer with alarm hooked up with the probe inside the incubator. I have the alarm set for 87 as a low temperature and 90 as a high temperature. This alarm is only good if you are in the room with it or very near but since I am in out of my Reptile room all day and night it works fine for me. The temperature stays so stable the only time the alarm ever goes off is when I open the door to the incubator and leave it open when taking eggs out to check on them. I also use a portable Thermometer Hygrometer to check it occasionally. It never varies more than a degree. This is optional but it works in my case. Here is a link to the best price I have found on it if you decide to use one. High Low Thermometer with Alarm

In this next picture you will see I have taped a 3 inch piece of Flexwatt Heat Tape across the middle Back of the cooler held with Foil Tape. It has wire leads soldered to it with a plug that will be plugged into the thermostat to regulate the temperature. I mounted the tape and then pull the leads through the drain plug on the cooler and then soldered them on to the Heat Tape. I covered the soldered leads with some Duct Tape so I don't accidentally touch the hot leads.

In the picture it says "Holds 9 Iris Shoe Boxes" but it can actually hold up to 12 of them. I will show that in a later picture.

inside incubator

In the next picture I show the Computer Fan I got at Radio Shack to circulate the air in the incubator. The one I used is a 12-volt DC fan and I use a Radio Shack variable DC Power Supply to power the fan. I used to have the links to both of these but Radio Shack changes them all of the time so you will just have do a search for them. The fan is optional though because when I have to fill the incubator with 12 boxes I take it out. You have to use a 12-volt fan though if you decide to use one as a 120-volt fan will get too hot and you will not be able to get the temperature to the correct level of 88 degrees.

Fan

 

Here is a side view of the incubator. I run the Herpstat Thermostat probe, High Low Thermometer probe, Power cord for the fan, and the power cord for the Heat Tape through the drain plug of the cooler. I then wad up a piece of paper towel to clog up the hole so no outside air gets in.

Incubator Side view

Here I have 11 Iris Shoe Boxes setup. If I need another one in there I take out the fan. With that much in there the heat stays pretty stable even with out the fan. If you look to the left of the picture you can see another Cooler next to this one. I have three of these so I can incubate up to 36 clutches at a time. Last year was the first year I had all three full but clutches started hatching the same day I maxed them out so another one didn't need to be built. I don't think I will ever have more than 36 clutches at a time since clutches will be hatching but who knows.

11 boxes

Here are the Iris Shoe Boxes I use for incubation that I get from Office Depot. It looks like they have changed these so I am not sure if the new ones work as well as these do but here is the link to the new ones at Office Depot Iris Boxes Office Depot and at Amazon Iris Boxes Amazon. The ten Pack of these from Amazon show the exact box I use but not sure what they will send you.

Iris Boxes

I hope this helps those wanting to build a Ball Python Egg Incubator that doesn't cost an arm and a leg but works on a professional level.

Albey

 

 

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