Sunday, August 31, 2008


I went to go and put some tin foil on top of the perspex to reflect some of the heat back towards the eggs, and the thermostat kicked back in. I don't know what happened or how it managed to work again, but the best thing is that it is up and running!

I hope that the eggs will hatch now and weren't left too cold, it'd be such a shame and a waste if they didn't hatch :(

The adult quail are fine, they seem huge compared to when we got them and I can't wait untill they are laying.
Oh and I now have a hygrometer, which has been in the incubator for a few days and seems accurate :D


I've just got back from moving scenery all day and the incubator is broken :(
The temperature was down to about 27oC and the thermostat isn't working.
I've quickly put a normal bulb in to bring the temperature back up, and checked the wiring of the thermostat and it is all fine.

Mom said that the maximum it's been off is 4 hours, but hopefully a lot less, the eggs didn't feel too cold.
I just hope that they will still hatch and that they weren't too cold for too long.

I'll leave that bulb in to warm it up and then see what I will do, I might have to use Hughies thermostat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quail + Eggs

I've just been to Quinton to get the eggs for the incubator. I was planning to get 12 for £1.50, but the man gave me 24 because he had loads spare!
The eggs should hatch after about 18 days.
He also hatched some quail for a pet shop and they let him down so I got a trio of quail :D They are 5/6 weeks old.
I gave him £2 and he was going to give me change! He had some chinese painted quail aswell, which I liked the look of but had to resist!!
Thanks soo much keef! And thank-you Sarah for taking me :D

So 24 eggs and 3 quail for £2, thats really good! They might live either with the quinea pig or in their own hutch, but its tipping it down at the moment so they are in the kitchen running around.

4 of the eggs are cracked, but I wasn't expecting to have 24 anyway so it doesn't matter, just means we can eat them!

The female (on the left)
has a more spotted chest,
and the male (on the right)
has a brown chest.

GCSE Results

I've just got back from school after finding out my results.
I got:
Geography A*
Chemistry A
Maths A
Business Studies A
English Language A
English Lit B
Biology B
Physics B
French B
German B

I got back into 6th form which is really good!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


It's finished. It was made from the left overs from the incubator and stuff I found in the garage.
I used wood from the incubator, wire, a plug and I bought a light fitting for 79p.

I cut up 3 rectangles, (2 sides and top), and 2 squares (for the ends). The top piece needs a hole drilled in the top to sit the egg on top of. Then I screwed the 3 rectangles together and glued one end on. The other open end is the end which the light fitting goes onto, and is left loose, in case of a bulb change etc.

The egg sits on the hole on the top. When I use it I put it on a chopping board, so the table doesn't burn.
It doesn't look as good as a bought one, but if it works and for 79p and 1/2 hour, I don't really care.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hygrometer + Candler

I've bought a digital hygrometer off ebay. It was only £6 including P&P. They measure humidity and this one does temperature too.

I'm trying to make a candler aswell, but it's not really working, I'm using the left overs from the incubator so it looks really bad, but it should still work. A candler lets you shine a light into the eggs so that you can see if there is a chick developing inside of it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Total Cost

Here's the total cost for the incubator:

You can take the cost of 12V adaptor though, because I used the old iPod speaker power cable, so that's £22 less.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Adaptor Problems :@

I'm really annoyed :( The 12V adaptor I bought has just broken and won't work! I only had 1 bulb on to see how warm it would get, and the adaptor has stopped working.
It was from a little electrical shop in Horncastle and there isn't one near here so can't take it back. I've tried to find the shop on the internet but I can't, I've emailed Uniross to see if I can take it back to a shop near me or send it back to them. Waste of £19!

I am going to have to use my brothers iPod dock cable, 12V 3.5 Amps, which has a dodgy end, but I'll chop it off so it won't matter.

It's Finished!!

It's finally finished and switched on warming up.

I've put it on top of Hughie the Tortoises house, they match each other.

The wired up Thermostat
Now I just need to get the eggs and I can start. :D :D

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back From Lincoln

Im back from Lincoln! The journey took about 2/2 and a half hours. It was a really good week, lots of animals! the church was really nice, I'm sure we'll go back again.

I tried to wire up the thermostat for the incubator today. I'm using a 12V adaptor to wire it and there are 3 wires inside. I wired it all up properly and switched it on and nothing worked. I swapped the positive and negative around but it still didn't work.
Dad, Noel + Me all thought that the 3rd wire was the earth wire so ignored it.

I went round to Noels again and he tested it with a multimeter and got no readings, when we tested the 'earth' wire it turned out to be the positive. Bit confusing. But it all works now, so i just need to take a few bits off and put it all in the incubator. Noel said the readings were up and it was on 2.5 amps at 12V.

I was going to varnish the inside to keep humidity levels up, but Dad thinks the fumes would harm the chicks :S.
Theres someone in Quinton (about 1/2 hour away) with some quail eggs - 12 for £1.50 which is really good, so I might try and get those. He has some adults free to a good home too.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Got up at half 9.
We left here and headed for Cleethorpes, which is by the sea. The weather was really nice so we went and sat on the beach, and then went for lunch; we sat outside but had to go inside because of the wasps – AGAIN. What is the point of wasps!
After that we went for a walk the other way down the beach then back to the car. We were driving to Louth but stopped off at some shops we saw. The factory outlets weren’t too good but we went into a cafe next to a gym. Me + Nat had Toffee Apple Crumble, Mom had Rhubarb Crumble (she’s been wanting it all week!) and Dad just had coffee.
After that we started to drive home and drove through Grimsby just to have a look what was there. There were a lot of warehouses for storing fish, and we saw a couple of boats coming in- so now we know where most of our fish comes from! Then we drove through Louth again, we would have stopped but all the stops were just closing, so we carried on back to the church.
When we got back there was a little bird on the little road up to the church, I think it was either a partridge or a quail! It ran up the track and then flew into the wheat.
Back at the church the lady was in the garden with the dogs and the puppy :). We went out and played catch with the black & white dog (the dog was catching the ball not us catching the dog ;) ). We fed the chickens again and then Me + Dad drove into Wragby to get some food for tea-fish & chips :)!
After tea Me + Nat went outside to see the horse. I fed him apples, and Nathan finally fed the horse (he was too scared before!)

After the excitement of that we took pictures of the bats flying around the garden.

Just to add to the excitement Georgie phones to tell us she was back from Italy, and we found out that Georgie’s Nan lives by Grimsby.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Got up at 9.
We left the church at 10 to go to the Market at Horncastle. It was only small with a few Fruit & Veg stalls, Mobile phone stall, a Bike stall and a stall selling Ostrich burgers, feathers and eggs. The eggs were only £12.50!! I wonder if they would be fertile and hatch :P.
All of us went for coffee in a little cafe by a little stream. We started sat outside but had to go in because of the thousands of wasps :( !

Me + Nat went to look around the pet shops again and I have finally bought a plug for my incubator. It was still expensive at £19 but the cheapest I have seen so far. It is a Multi Voltage plug from 3-12V and is 2500mA (2.5A). When you read the leaflet it is only 2.5 amps at 3-5 volts, and at 12 volts it is 1.4 amps, but it should still work. I bought an extension lead for it which was only £3 so that I don’t have to chop the end of the £20 plug off, I can chop the end of the extension off instead. If I cut the multi plug I would void the warranty and couldn’t use it for anything else. The car cigarette power supply to mains was only £7.99 there, £12 cheaper than Maplins!
After that we went back to Sutton on Sea. We had a walk down the beach and a look in the shops. I went into a place called Gardenpets and the man who owns the shop was really nice. When I said that I was looking for a hygrometer, he asked what for and then told him it was for the incubator. He said he hatches parrots and showed me the incubator which he made himself, it was made of metal + had a glass door so he could watch them hatch. He hasn’t been hatching many recently because of the credit crunch. All of his reptile equipment was half price because he used it for his tortoises for 3 months and then gave them up.

We stopped off at the shops for some fajitas and then went back to the church and watched tele.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Got up at half 9.
Me + Mom walked about 6 miles to Wragby and then Dad + Nat drove to us when we got there. We saw a little weasel run across the road while we were walking there. I looked around the pet shop and the electrical shop – still no power lead for my incubator :(.
We went into a cafe and read the paper then we drove to Lincolnshire.
Walked down to the shops, walked along the canal for a bit and found a Maplins! They had a few 12V plugs but none with high enough amps – they had one variable voltage plug which was about £30 so I might have to buy that one. I might buy a car cigarette lighter to mains adaptor and cut the end off of a phone charger, because they are 12V but they are still £20.

I also found a new friend – Percy the Pigeon. He came cheeping over to me and sat on my foot :) I picked him up and he ran up and sat on my shoulder, really tame!! And he still had his baby feathers. He did poo on my sleeve :( but it wiped off :) and its meant to be good luck :) :). I put him back on the floor and he started walking after me. I wanted to keep him forever! (Still want a homing pigeon :))
Then we went and saw the cathedral + had an ice cream.
Dad drove us back to Wragby and we stopped off at the Co-Op for Fish Fingers, Mash + Sweetcorn - as you do. There are no big supermarkets here, which is a bit strange.
Still no eggs in the Ark today.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Had a lie in until 10.30 this morning.
We left the church at 12ish to go to the market at Alford. We got there at about 12.30 and the market was just packing up, even though it was meant to be on until 2.
We looked around the shops there, Mom + Das had a look at antiques again! while me + Nat went to the pet shops. I found a 12 volt battery charger which the man said would work, in a RC Cars shop but it was £30 and I didn’t want to spend that much and then chop the end off of it to plug it into the thermostat. I also got some feet for my incubator to sit on, 6 for £1. Bargain!
After that we went to a cafe for drinks + cake!
When we had finished we went back to the car. Me + Nat found some cows next to the car park + fed them.

Dad drove us to Long Sutton but we didn’t stop because of the rain. We might be going back later in the week.
Off to the Co-Op to buy pasta + sauces for tea. Then home.
Back at the church we were greeted by the black and white dog and the chicks are back :). We played fetch with the dog with apples off the tree + a stick. I fed the chickens bits of apple again + a girl went past on a horse, one of the neighbours from the farm round the back I think.
There is a one-eyed cat here which followed me up the path up to the church.
I cooked more cheesy bread to have with the pasta-bake for tea, and a cheesecake for after.
Still no eggs in the ark :( but I doubt there will be as all the chickens sleep in the stable with the ducks, so wont lay in the ark.

We would have had Babs for 2 years today.
R.I.P. Babs

Monday, August 11, 2008


Got up at 9.30.
I went back out into the garden with an apple in my hand and 2 hens and a cockerel ran over to me without even having food :) they remembered. When I started throwing the bits of apple a few more ran over but no chicks today :(. The lady who owns the church lives next door in ‘The Old Rectory’ and she was in her garden with a little black Labrador puppy, 10 weeks old. She was really nice and asked if we had things to do and offered us a bowls set; as long as I’ve got chickens I’m fine! Then another black and white dog came out and wouldn’t go back in, she said he was deaf.
There’s a broody hen in the stable where some chickens and the ducks sleep, hope the chicks hatch while we are still here! No eggs in the ark today.
We spent a few hours in Horncastle, with Mom & Dad looking at the antique shops. I bought the bulbs for my incubator (12V 20W) from a lighting shop, they were £3 for two in the lighting shop or £6.49 for two in Woolworths! Bargain. I also bought 2 chickeny books from a little book shop for £6, the woman in there knew exactly where each book was.
After there we went to Mablethorpe to the beach, then went round the shops still looking for a 12 Volt 2 Amp plug, but couldn’t find one.
We went to Louth at about 7, went into Spar for a sandwich and then to the cinema to see Mama Mia. It was a really good film, and was quite funny as well, they even got a round of applause at the end! The cinema was good, old fashioned and they had an interval in the middle and walked around selling ice cream.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Woke up at 5.30 because the Church is just SO light. The Cockerel started crowing about 10 minutes after I woke up :) I like it here!
Back to sleep until half 9, then cheese on toast for breakfast with a cup of tea.
We headed for Horncastle but as it is Sunday everywhere was shut, so we went to Skegness instead.
On the way we saw quite a few fields of Free Range chickens, and when we got to Skegness it was really busy. Had a walk up and down the beach and then went onto the pier. Dad + Nat went to the arcade but I went with Mom to get her a coffee. It started to tip it down with rain so we went into the chip shop out of the rain + then Dad + Nat met us there. We stayed and ate and then after the rain went out the front to watch the parade go past. It was a bit too touristy and loud- a bit in your face.

Came home at about 6 and I went for a walk to explore nearby. There are 2 horses at the end of our garden, a black one and a brown one. I fed them apples and then went to look around the farm. The chickens were sitting on the gravestones in the garden, we threw pieces of apple at them and more came running over, but none would let me get too near to them. There is a huge pond round the back of the church with a few moorhens on it. No eggs in the ark today.
Back in the church I mixed up some Ciabatta bread and left it to rise while I went out for a walk again.
I wondered off for about an hour down the road and found another farm with horses, sheep and a few chickens. They had a few rabbit hutches for £5/£10 so I
might get one to use when we get the new chickens so that we can introduce them to our chickens, might struggle to get it home though :).
On the way down the road two big brown hares ran out in the road in front of me! One sat on the edge eating grass while the other one bounded across the road. They stayed for 5 minutes while I stood and watched them and then they both ran off into the field to join another 3 hares. I was surprised how big they actually were. It’s a good job I had the camera with me :).

Walking there and back I only saw one silver land rover! When I came back onto the farm I saw 2 big white geese.
I put the bread in the oven with some cheese on top and then watched the tele. Cheese on toast for tea with olives from the Canwell Show :)! We watched Britain From Above and there was a reindeer farm, all free rangeing but when the man shouted they all came running down the mountains to him. No herding at all.
The only bad point about here is that there isn’t a shower so you have to have a bath and it takes ages :(.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Holiday Day 1- Saturday

After the Canwell show we left the house for Lincolnshire at about 3pm.

It’s really flat here, and you can see for miles! The sky stretches out really far as there is nothing blocking the view. We stopped off at the village shop for bread + milk and got to the accommodation at about half 6ish.
We (Me, My Brother – Nathan, Mom
and Dad) are staying in a little place called Panton, in a converted church (St. Andrew’s).

According to information in the church it dates from 1770 and is a Grade II listed building. In 1905 Christopher Turnor restored it in memory of his uncle then the church was made redundant in 1974, as the priest used to turn up for service to no congregation. A bit of a sad story, but there are not many people round here. After it became redundant they then used it for hay storage. There used to be a stone memorial of a Knight (Sir William Breton of Edward III) here, but it was stolen. Also another thing is that, they found a Stone Age flint and arrowhead when they dug out the lake! So lots of history then :)
It’s been renovated really well, it’s really open plan but at the same time the bedrooms are private.
The downstairs has the main living area with 2 big comfy sofas and 2 arm chairs, the bathroom-to the right of the front door and the kitchen is raised a little bit.
The font is still here in its original place, now with flowers on the top of it, the hymn board now holds business cards for local businesses, and there are still gravestones in the floor and one on the wall. But having said all that it is not spooky at all. At either end of the church are the bedrooms raised up on another level. The main bedroom is above the front door and the other bedroom is above the kitchen.
The owners left us milk in the fridge, a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine on the table next to a note saying:
“Eggs: Can be collected from the hen coop in garden if available free of charge. Cannot be laid to order!”

There is a bell rope by the front door and a bell outside, but I tried, they are not connected.
Out in the garden there are about 12 white ducks, about the same number of hens + chicks, a cockerel, a male and a female peacock with a little baby and three dogs.

Reading other peoples messages there is a horse somewhere. I had a look in the coop for eggs and there were 4 eggs and 2 broken ones.
For tea we went about 4 miles down the road (a mile down we saw the Peacocks! Free-range or what) and got Pizza from the takeaway and sat eating it watching the Olympics - 1st Gold for GBR!

Canwell Show

We've just been to the Canwell Show, and it was really good, if only the weather was better we would have stayed longer.
We saw a Bird Of Prey stall and the man was really friendly. They are based in Stratford Upon Avon so all the birds are names after Shakespeare characters.

I got to hold Bottom, a 9 week old Bengal Eagle Owl.

Me + Bottom

Mom + Bottom

The Charrolais sheep from the farm where I went Lambing

Joseph And His Amazing Camels were due to be on at 3, but we are going to Lincoln so couldn't stay for that long.

My friend Teresa got 1st place for her Butterscotch (right) and the little girl next door Evie (4) got 4th prize for her Picture of the Olympics (left).

It was worth rearranging the holiday for :D

Friday, August 8, 2008


I'm back from camping in Cornwall with my Dad, Brother + friend Stuart, it was good fun. We went to the beach, went to quite a few places in Cornwall and had the best chips in the world from Rick Steins chip shop in Padstow.

Polzeath Beach

Me + Stuart in the car :D

Dad flying a kite
Brother Nathan eating chips on the beach
We went to the National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow, where, if a fisherman finds a pregnant female lobster, they sell it on to the Hatchery, the lobsters hatch there and are raised there safely away from predators. When they're big enough they're released back into the sea so that the numbers of lobsters around Cornwall can be kept up so that demand from fishermen isn't wiping out the population. I've adopted a lobster called Sebastian :D.
Tonight I've been looking at where to get my hatching eggs from and looking at hydrometers.
Someone on the Coturnix Corner Forum said I don't really need a hygrometer, but I may get a cheap analogue one just to be safe, but apparently they aren't too accurate.
Digital ones are good but most of them have the sensor inside the main unit, not on a long probe. Ones I found with a probe are £20+.
I haven't found local eggs as yet but I may get some sent in the post to me.

I've also just cut the perspex for the roof, I did it with a stanley knife and then smoothed the edges down with wet + dry paper.

The Canwell Show is tomorrow, never been before but it should be good.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Built It!

I went round to my Nan's today and Noel helped me to cut the wood and to build the incubator.

That countersink was Noels dads and was used to build spitfire planes :D

It took a fair few hours, and I still need to do the wiring and put the roof on, but its looking more like an incubator :D

Heres the finished(ish) thing:

The top door gets to the eggs and bulbs, and the eggs sit on the mesh you can see through the window.
The bottom door is where the water tray goes to keep humisity up so that the eggs don't dry out and chicks don't stick to their shells.

Thanks Noel :D

I still need to buy a hygrometer.