Sunday, April 13, 2014

Making babies, We're in lockdown

We're on try number three incubating eggs. Three days before they're due to hatch you're supposed to take the eggs out of the turner, if you have one, lay them flat, add water to the incubator to increase the humidity, close the lid, and leave them the crap alone. No opening it for anything. Not for the first few chicks hatched. Quit turning the eggs, just keep your damned fingers out of the incubator. Yeah, that's gonna be hell for me.

I want to see what's going on inside those shells. I want to shine a light through the shell and see what's going on. So I compromised. I candled them all after I removed the turner. Out of 32 eggs
, four were duds. One had a thin shell to start with and I found a tiny crack in the shell. It weighed a good bit less than the other eggs, so I cracked it open. It was mostly filled with air from evaporation, and a super thick yolk. Nothing else. I have three eggs I left in there that could be a maybe, but I don't see veins. One looks just like the last batch of yolkers. Tuesday should be the day for baby chickies, but I read up on it for the bazilionth time, and day 24 for the last stragglers isn't uncommon. 

The chick absorbs the last of the yolk right before it hatches. The newly hatched chick can live for three days on that absorbed yolk, with no food or water. That's how they are able to ship chicks through the mail without feeding them or giving them water, and they don't croak. So even after I have chickies hatch I have to keep my greedy fingers to myself and leave the lid closed till they are done hatching. Torture I tell you. 

In other news, my little banty chicken decided she wanted to hatch some egg and went broody. I waited two days just to make sure she was staying on the nest. She was pulling eggs from the other nest boxes, and when I went to move her, she had 18 under her. 

I took a 15 gallon barrel that already had a hole cut in it and used that as her new nest box. Then I put feed and water pans in an empty cage in the rabbit hutch. Phyllis, the banty, was quite pissed off when I took her out of the chicken condo and put her in the hutch. She fluffed up, made growly chicken noise and pretty much bitched at me till I loaded her eggs up in the barrel and put it in there with her.  She hopped right in and got all the eggs arranged under her, grumping and complaining the whole time.

It's been four days and she's still setting like a good little girl. I'll candle them after day 24 for the eggs in the bator in the house. If anything hatched from the incubator, and her eggs look like duds for whatever reason, I'll take the new hatched chicks out and put them under her at night and let her raise them. 

The chickies in the garage are just about ready to go outside full time. Good thing, cause I'm gonna need that brooder pen. 
The grey one in the front is the one we hatched. 

That's where Phyllis is gonna go with her babies. The chickies in there will go to the new property next door. It's got a little old chicken coop and the chicken wire is the smaller holed stuff. 

Norman and the horses are back out to pasture again. The grass is finally starting to come in good. I just can't see feeding hay, even though we have enough to keep going with it, when there is perfectly good, green grass growing out there.

I'm still going out and catching the horses up after 12 hours to put them back on the dry lot. They can have some serious health issues from too much green, spring, grass. 


  1. Love reading about your incubator adventures, I was thinking of giving it a try myself this year! Thanks for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again tomorrow!

  2. Congratulations! This post was Grand Champion on the Country Fair Blog Party this week!! I hope you will come back again and link up another post...maybe one of those adorable chicks when they hatch. :) Here's the new link for the new party:



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