I’ve been posting cute chick pics lately but make no mistake about it, I took the leap with incubating eggs for the home grown meat. I’m feeding these hungry chicks now, in order to feed my family this summer. Some of these chicks have less than two months to live. Continue reading
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?
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
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?
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