A week after hatching I still have fourteen healthy chicks in the brooder. You can see in the picture that they are beginning to get their feathers. Now that the drama of hatching and moving from the incubator to the brooder is over, the next big question is: what do I actually have?
21 days from now, if all goes well, there should be some chicks hopping around in this incubator.
Today, according to all the signs, is an auspicious day to start chicken eggs in an incubator. I’ve been collecting the best ones for three days. Now I have just placed twenty one eggs in the automatic egg turner inside the incubator and put the lid over them. Continue reading
When we first started raising chickens I really didn’t know anything about it. Mr. Mims remembers that his grandfather kept chickens, in Greenville. When he was young he once moved a chicken coop for his grandfather and then planted a garden in that spot. We read a few books on the subject, and after Mr. Mims constructed the coop, we took the leap. At the time, when I read about the whole incubator thing, I said to myself, why use an incubator, why not raise chickens the natural, old fashioned way?
Eggs without a broody hen…
We have kept a rooster with our hens for three years now. The idea was that we would raise our own chicks for meat. Now, I can tell you that our rooster has been doing his part of the job, and when I crack an egg, I can see that it is fertilized. But we have had just one broody hen that sat on one egg twice, giving us two chicks in three years. Continue reading
On Wednesday I went to the supermarket and bought a flat of eggs, like I’ve been doing for years. They go fast in my house. That’s one reason we got chickens in the first place, three growing boys. I told the cashier that this might be the last time I’d buy eggs at the supermarket, saying that my fourteen hens should start laying some eggs for me any day now. She asked me when we got them and I told her it was early May. They were about a week old when we bought fourteen hens and one rooster, who now has acquired the name Foghorn Leghorn, given to him by my husband. I generally just call the hens collectively “Ladies.”
“Well you should have eggs by now,” said the cashier. That’s what I was thinking, and that other people seem to have more experience with chickens than me. We’ve fed and watered them, cleaned up after them, and laughed at them too, for five months. But I was standing there at the register, like a virgin, having heard plenty of talk, read and looked at plenty of literature, but wondering if I was ever going to get the real thing.