Monday, February 14, 2011

Hatching ... not for the faint hearted...

It's hard to fool Mother Nature. If she ain't ready for chicks.. then it's pretty hard to hatch them. Between non fertile eggs, and my inexperience.. sheesh. I know some folks are really good at it and can probably hatch a rock in their incubators. But I am really new, and have zero experience. I am learning as I go. I got my new incubator, so learning where the settings need to be for it's location in the house -- it's all going to take time.

The January 21st set was 18 eggs. 5 of those hatched and 3 lived. And they are DURN adorable if I say so myself! Two Seramas, and one Mille Fleur Cochin. Little balls of fluffy cuteness overload!

I tried the egg carton method in the hatcher.. I had read that people swear by it. You set your eggs air cell up in the carton inside your hatcher and it helps prevent the hatched chicks from rolling the hatching chicks around. I noticed that a few pipped and hadn't been able to orientate themselves correctly, so never hatched. THAT was frustrating to see. I think this next time I will not do that and see how it works out....

So.. for now .. The Peep Show is small-but mighty! ;)

~~~Because you can never have enough chick pictures!~~~
KatKong stalking Peepzilla (a Serama)

The light colored Serama

The Mille Fleur Cochin.. being watched... :)


  1. My mom hatched hundreds of eggs over the years when I was growing up, and it was my job to help. We never had a single one in a carton. We did mark them with an "x" on one side using a carpenter's pencil, and rotated them each day (flipped them over, like a mother would move her eggs around), morning and night. We also kept a pan of water in the incubator, and sprinkled them with a little water each day.

    If a baby stalls out while breaking out of the egg, you can sometimes assist them out by moistening the inner membrane of the egg and gently removing some of the shell. You have to be really careful when you do this, as the membrane can stick to the chick and you could tear its skin.

    What happened to the peeps that didn't live? If peeps are just weak and tired and seem unable to get warm, they can be tucked close to the skin (for instance, in the cleavage of a sports bra) for a time while you play "mommy incubator". I've brought a number of babies back from the brink using this method.

    Electric incubators do tend to have lower hatch rates (from our experience) and be tougher to regulate. My mom had an old kerosene incubator from her mother as well as an electric, and the kerosene incubator was more reliable.

  2. Hi, My name is Melissa and I was wondering if you could give me some advice on chickens?? My husband and I are going to be (hopefully) purchasing our first home with 5 acres, I would love to have chickens and A rooster, but I dont know where to start. Since I still have some time and I wont start until the summer/fall time with the chickens, I am trying to find all the information that I can about how to raise chickens. How do you start off with them, what do I need, how much does it cost for about 12 chickens and a rooster per month? I have never had one before, but i know that they are going to be very beneficial to our family! Thanks for any info!


  3. Laurie, thank you for the encouragement :) We will succeed eventually! lol! The peeps that didn't make it--one had something wrong with it's legs--I thought it was spraddle leg, but banding didn't help. it couldn't walk at all. The other was just a failure to thrive... I did what I could to help it. Always hard to lose them, they are so cute and little and fluffy.

    Melissa.. I would look into getting some books--One of my favorites is Storey's Guide to raising Chickens. It will give you all sorts of ideas on housing, feeding etc. Chickens are pretty easy.. they only want some place safe from predators (study what is a problem in your area, you will want to provide housing accordingly), clean water and good food.. and a little lovin' from you! :) Good luck, keep me posted!! I look forward to reading about them on your blog! :)

    *thinking* ... The other thing, I guess, would be whether you want big chickens(standard) or little chickens (bantams).. and whether you want dual purpose-->eggs/meat or just eggs. Look into attending a local poultry show, you will learn a lot about the different breeds/types and meet people who know a lot about raising chickens too.