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New Chicks!

 

[Recently hatched chick napping and another working on hatching}

As some of you know our first try with hatching our own chicks didn’t go as planned. We had one chick hatch and unfortunately it didn’t make it. We strongly believe it was because we had an old used incubator that wasn’t working quite right. It wasn’t the easiest to keep the temperature and humidity regulated………So we purchased a new one and tried again.

 

{Our new HovaBator Genesis 1588 Egg Incubator Kit}

 The new incubator has a digital thermometer and hygrometer for a more accurate reading. We started out with 28 eggs at day one. We didn’t candle to see which were fertile or not, we just went with it and said it is what it is.

  Around day 10 we decided to candle and see what we had going on. We removed 8 of the eggs because there was no sign of baby chicks-so most likely NOT fertile. That left us with exactly 20 eggs in the incubator.

 We continued to monitor them regularly, couldn’t help it as they are set up in our living room! Day 18 rolls around and we put them on “lockdown” with expectations of starting to see signs of hatching in 3 more days. Turns out some of them were only waiting a couple of days! On that first day we had 4 hatch during the day and 2 more that night. Then for the next 2 days they came one by one.

(4 newly hatched chicks all lined up in a row for nap time)

 It was the neatest thing to see how all progressed differently. Some pipped (start “poking” through) then bam there they were! Others, would pip and I swear it would take them 12 or more hours to decide to come into this world. It's crazy how after they hatch they'e just knocking and rolling around the other eggs-but it's all ok)

 

(this is a pip)

In the end, out of the 20 fertile eggs, we had 16 hatch, 1 pip and not hatch and 3 not do anything at all. I’d say that’s spectacular odds!

 

(We've learned how to get up on the brooder!-this is a new "heater" we're trying out this year. This has a "heat-diffuser plate that emulates a mother hen". We've always just used heat lamps-which I am still using until I'm convinced this works lol)

 Our rooster is a leghorn and our hens are a variety of breeds. I like a variety of colors in the barnyard and a variety of colors for my eggs! All 16 of our little chicks are a real pretty yellow and some have a tiny black spot here and there. Now that the excitement of hatching is over, it’s going to be more anticipation to see what they’re going to look like full grown. Hopefully the majority of them are hens!

    

 

After hatching, we gave each of them about 24 hours in the incubator to get completely dried off and get their stable legs under them, then they were moved out to the brooder in the garage. Here they will stay for a few weeks before they are moved out to the coop. This part I’ve done many many times before.

(Pandora, our Great Dane, is helping check on the chicks)

 On that note, in the coop, I have 2 very broody hens. So I gave them their own eggs to sit on. One has one egg, the other has two. One has been sitting since the 2nd of the month, the other the 8th of the month, so we shall see if we end up with any live hatches in the coop in the next couple of weeks and once hatched how that goes out there.

    

{My broody hens diligently sitting on their eggs}

 This will be the first year that I have never purchased chicks either at the feed store or ordering online. We shall see if this becomes a new trend for us here on the farm. If so, I will most likely order one more time and get one pure breed of hens and a rooster instead of creating this barnyard mix.

 Over the next few weeks I will keep you posted on their progress! So much excitement during our stay at home time! Even the 18 year old Graduate is enjoying the adventure!

 

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