Little babies just out of the incubator
We are now about to start incubating and hatching cute little, fluffy chicks. We started collecting eggs a couple days ago. When you are collecting eggs for incubation they should be kept at around 50 degrees for optimum hatch rates. We have a GQF cabinet incubator that will hold 198 eggs for the incubation part and two tabletop incubators that hold 110 eggs altogether for the hatching. The eggs have to be turned at least 3 or 4 times a day to prevent the embryo from sticking to the cell membrane - the incubators we have do that automatically, about every two hours. Usually we stagger the incubation batches by at least a couple days or up to a week - so that by the time one batch is finished and done in the hatcher and the chicks are in the brooder there will be at least a couple days before we have to put another batch in the hatcher. That gives us time to clean and sanitize the incubators too. Even though it is January it feels like Spring once we being incubating:)
One of the tabletop incubators
You have to keep the eggs at a certain temperature and humidity while they are incubating. At day 18 when they go into the hatcher you have to up the humidity quite a bit.
We like to candle the eggs
at days 7, 14 and 18. The reason for candling them is to remove any that are infertile or if one dies it will contaminate the ones around it and then they will die, too. You will have a much higher hatch rate if you candle your eggs. We use the Fleischmann Eggs Ray and it works really well for us.
Old English Game Bantam egg at day 10
On day 18 the eggs go into the hatcher and stay there until day 21. On day 21 we open the hatcher, take out the chicks. The chicks should hatch on day 21 - some hatch a little earlier and some a little later - however they all get taken out together.
Buckeye chicks just out of the hatcher
It is so amazing how God made an egg - so that from this: a shell with a pile of goo inside
It turns into this. All the little developmental changes they go through - it is quite amazing!
We incubate and hatch two breeds of chickens which we offer for sale - Marans and Buckeyes (and occasionally some little bantams). We are taking orders now and will be hatching them until we decide we are exhausted, usually around July or August :)Marans
chicks $5 ea. - pullets / hens $25 to $30 ea.Buckeye
chicks $5 ea. - pullets / hens $25 to $30 ea.
$55 for 15 hatching eggs
Thank you for reading and have a great day!