It’s almost time to test the incubator.
The delivery man came speeding up my driveway this morning as if the delivery of this incubator was an urgent matter. It really wasn’t but maybe he was just feeling the urgency spring. The lines for garden supplies at our local nurseries indicate that he is not the only one with spring fever.
I asked around, (mostly homestead and chicken groups on-line) and felt reasonably safe about dancing with this incubator. At just over $130 including tax, it was definitely more expensive than if I had made one myself, but sort of mid-range in price over all. 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.