For hobbyist bird breeders, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing their "flock" raise a successful new generation of birds. Regardless of the depth of care and devotion the hobbyist breeder gives their animals, many problems can arise that could affect a parent bird's ability to correctly incubate the eggs such as sickness, aggression or in extreme cases, death. Learn how to incubate the eggs should such an event occur.
Drill six to eight 1/8-inch holes in all sides of the plastic shoebox. These holes will provide proper ventilation for the eggs being incubated. Do not drill any holes into the lid of the shoebox.
Glue aluminum foil to the inside of the shoebox lid using the contractor adhesive. The foil will act as an insulator and reflector, helping to maintain the appropriate temperature for the developing embryos.
Attach the light socket to the inside of the shoebox close to the rim of the opening, but not so close that it hinders the secure fastening of the lid. Use contractor adhesive to secure the socket to one of the box's sides.
Wet a sponge and squeeze it out only to the point where it won't drip all over the contents of the shoebox. Make sure to keep the sponge away from the light socket. Place it in one of the shoebox's corners. The sponge will provide moisture and humidity needed by the developing chicks. Without the moisture, the embryos can get stuck to the lining inside of the eggshell and die.
Line the bottom of the shoebox with the rags. These will keep the eggs from rolling around or accidentally cracking on the box's hard surface.
Mark one side of each egg with an "X" and then turn them 180 degrees and mark this side with an "O". The eggs must be turned at least three times a day and the markings will help to ensure they are rotated properly.
Screw the light bulb into the light socket. Stick the end of the thermometer into one of the holes that was drilled into the shoebox and place the lid on the box. Wait roughly 20 minutes and then check the temperature. The reading should say between 98 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too low, add aluminum foil to one of the sides inside the shoebox and take the reading again. If it is too high, remove some aluminum foil from the shoebox.
Place the eggs into the shoebox once the temperature readings are correct. The eggs will take 18 to 21 days to hatch after incubation has begun.