Hatching Chicks in a Hacked Mini Fridge

Maker News
Hatching Chicks in a Hacked Mini Fridge


Monster energy drinks and hatching baby chickens aren’t generally closely associated with each other. However, as seen in this Imgur set, an unused Monster drink refrigerator can be recycled into a nifty incubator. I suppose any fridge could be used for something like this, but the glass door seems especially advantageous for monitoring eggs as they mature.

For this fridge-turned-incubator, life started out as a post on the free section of Craigslist. To some it might be garbage, but with a clear vision for what this former “monster” could be, the fridge was obtained, and most of the actual cooling parts were removed. The lights and fan were left intact, since ventilation and being able to see inside would be helpful to the final design.

A heat mat, generally meant for reptiles, was installed behind a wall where refrigeration coils originally were placed. It was unscrewed and then replaced for a really clean-looking installation. Because just plugging this mat into a power circuit would produce an unknown temperature inside the incubator, a temperature controller was added.

Apparently humidity has to be controlled when hatching chickens, so a container filled with water was added. Finally, an egg turner was installed to keep the eggs turned three times per day. I had no idea this had to be done, but if I were an unhatched chicken, I’d certainly want at least that semblance of variety in my life!

The results, and one of the resulting chicks can be seen in the gallery below:

Although this refrigerator was not functioning when received, if it was, I wonder how hard it would be to run the refrigeration cycle backwards and pump heat energy into the assembly instead of out. If this wasn’t able to be done for some reason, I suppose one could swap the position of the two heat exchangers. Then again, I doubt the heat mat uses up that much energy, so it was probably the better solution anyway! Definitely easier.

[via Reddit]

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


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