From Family to Nursery

In retrospect I can say that May is bird month around here. We have fourteen incubator hatched chickens in the coop that are approaching seven weeks. And we have had a wild goose family staying around with their four chicks.

At the end of March I posted a video of a the pair of nesting geese, before they had chicks, chasing off another couple. Now that their goslings are several weeks old, they have a whole new attitude. What was one family has grown to three families, with twelve goslings in all. They have been here for a couple of days now.

 

Early Birds

earlybird

The early bird…

With a day still to go, according to the electronic countdown on my incubator, there are seven chicks and counting making a racket in the incubator.

Early this morning, there were two, and those two are beginning to look cute and fluffy.We called them early birds. Now, in the early afternoon, I see that they are a few hours ahead of the game, and stronger and more aggressive than the others already.

I always thought that the expression, the early bird catches the worm, meant that if you were prepared and got up early in the morning, you would be rewarded. But now I’m wondering if it first came from the idea that the early bird, the one that breaks free first, would surely get the first worm from its mother…

Feedback is welcome. 🙂

 

Eggxiety

 

I am down to the last three days of incubation of nineteen eggs. I have found that I have had to constantly adjust the thermostat on the incubator in order to hover around the ideal temperature. The humidity has been even more unstable. I’ve done my best to keep it around ideal by pouring small amounts of distilled water through the vent hole, without opening the incubator.

Yesterday was the big day when I opened the incubator for the first time since I candled the eggs about two weeks ago. It was time to take the eggs out of the automatic egg turner. I had marked the eggs that I thought might not be good after inspecting them. One of those marked eggs was moving around on the plate I set it on, so I’m glad that I didn’t dispose of the ones that I thought looked too porous. I lined the screen at the bottom of the incubator with cheese cloth and laid the eggs back inside. Since then I’ve seen a few more of the eggs move around a bit. Continue reading

Candling Inconclusive

This lonely rooster was attacked by the adult hens as soon as his mother abandoned him.  He wound up in the crock pot.

This lonely rooster, our only hatch from a broody hen back in 2014, was attacked by the adult hens as soon as his mother abandoned him.

I decided to try an incubator this year, having given up hope on my hens’ maternal instincts. A week into the process I was having doubts, like a first time mother, and decided to give my egg candler (a flashlight,) a try. After candling my eggs, I can only say that it was awkward, and I feel like I should have left well enough alone.

I have gone from having twenty one eggs in the incubator to having 19. One of the two I removed turned out to be unfertilized as I suspected. The other one, which I removed because I thought it looked very porous, turned out to have what was probably a viable chick growing inside.

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Incubator Ignorance

heathumidity

This temp. reading is lower than on the eggs below. The humidity is a little too high right now…

My incubator has counted down from 21 to 16 days until hatch day with perfect regularity. But when it comes to temperature and humidity its behavior is more erratic. I have turned the factory set 100º all the way down to 97º in order for the thermometer that is on top of the eggs to hover around the correct temperature of 99.5º to 100º. I might have cooked my eggs in the first couple of days. I’m really not sure, but I’m operating on the premises that I did not.
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