Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hatching Chickens ~ Guest Post for UpCountry Living

Jenna at http://upcountry-living.com/ has asked me to do a guest post on hatching chicken eggs. I am honored and thrilled that she has asked. Her blog is full of great ideas, information and beautiful pictures. So here it is, I hope she and everyone else likes it!
Let me start by saying that anyone that knows me or has read my blog knows how much I ♥  my chickens. So, in trying to make my homestead a little more profitable I wanted to start raising cochin chicks. They are my absolute favorite with their feathered feet and fluffy butts ☺ My birthday was approaching and my mom wanted to know what I wanted. I said an incubator, then I said no I will build it myself, then I changed my mind again (women do that sometimes). Well I had been collecting fertile eggs for over a week and luckily my mom wanted to have an early birthday lunch! So cash in hand I went to Atwoods and bought my incubator!!! I spent a little extra for the one with circulated air, now I know I didn't really need that one, it's for when you hatch them in a barn or somewhere without a constant ambient temp. but whatever this thing worked out perfect. I was really nervous through my first hatch. I checked the temp. and humidity constantly!!! The temperature needs to be 99.5 degrees F and the humidity needs to run about 55-60% the first 18 days. You also need to turn the eggs twice a day to make sure the embryo doesn't stick to the shell. I had alot of advise not to touch them too much but I didn't listen, I was in the closet candling them every three days. I started with 10 eggs, five were cochins and the other five barnyard mutts. The five cochin eggs were infertile here's the story on that  http://kellyshappyhollowfarm.blogspot.com/2012/08/couldnt-wait.html On day 18 of incubation you need to quit turning them and raise the humidity to about 80% and keep it there. The eggs need the moisture in the air to make them soft enough for the little ones to peck out! Now to the blessed day, it was like Christmas waking up to the sound of peeping from your living room! We rushed in to see there was a baby chick, I did it right I was so thrilled!!! I took my girls to school and by the time I got home there was another baby chick! While I was on the phone telling my husband that two had hatched I noticed another one rocking! I quickly got off the phone and video'd the third one. In less that ten minutes from the rocking it was out! It was the first chicken I had seen hatched out of an egg! Here's the video, ignore my voice please ☺
video   I have since hatched out 18 more chicks. In the three weeks from first hatch to the second we have had some unwanted visitors in our yard and I lost three of my hens. One being my precious Cochin Mrs. Squirty. Luckily I had collected ten of her (fertile this time) eggs and now I have ten cute little cochins chicks. The hens are on lockdown until the afternoon when I can stay outside with them. As for the profit of the homestead I will be keeping all hens from this hatch and hopefully selling the roos. I need to see what they look like when they grow up before I sell them anyways ☺The incubator is cleaned and put away until these babies have grown up and start laying then I will do it again! Having the incubator has been one of the coolest things ever! Not only do you get to watch an egg transform into life, but you can increase your flock to whatever number you want! Homegrown Babies are the best!
From the first hatch
these guys are over a month old now and going through their ugly phase LOL!
babies from the second hatch~five more came later one yellow one and four little cochins

11 comments:

  1. Kelly, I still at some point may try this....at least I know I have you to depend on for my info if I take the plunge(somewhere down the road)! That HELPS a lot! Such a SWEET post~~~I love it!! Roxie

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    1. Roxie~ I hope you do get chickens someday! I think everyone should have at least three hens in their backyard for eggs and entertainment!

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  2. I would give you the title of chicken queen but that title goes to a woman near here who has her chickens in her house, I will let those who have chickens imagine what that is like. Anyway I am impressed with your recent success, hope you don't mind being #2.

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    1. I will take #2 with honor! I don't think I can compete with someone letting them stay in the house! I miss the babies cheeping in the house, but don't miss the do-do!!!

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    2. They will have to burn her house down some day, my chicken coop was cleaner and smelled better, sad really, gag me with a visit to her house!

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  3. Eeewwww that sounds pretty gross!

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    1. Commenting from my phone doesn't work well!!! I tried to REPLY and commented not once but three times LOL!!!!!

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