Thursday, March 31, 2016

Incubating Eggs

Baby chicks.  What could be cuter than that?!?  Well in 21 days give or take we should have some baby chicks.

I sourced my blue egg layers, Araucana chickens, from my local Amish egg producer.  He has them in with Rhode Island Red roosters and I think Araucana Roosters.  At least that is what I could decipher.  Sometimes they (Amish) are difficult to understand, more of a worldly difference than age or language.

I purchased 36 eggs (3 dozen) for $12.  That left me with 5 spots open on the turner (holds 41) so I threw in some of my own chicken eggs.  I know for sure 2 are from my black hen, not sure of her breed, and the others are either Red Sex linked or Silver Laced Wyandotte hens mixed with a Wyandotte Rooster.

I know the Sex Linked won't breed true and revert back to what the parents were.  Either a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire Rooster and Delaware Hen were used in the breeding so it could possibly be one of those breeds mixed with the Wyandotte.

Who knows and does it matter?  Not really.  Just as long as they lay eggs.

I will be candling them around 10-12 days and again at 17 or so just to check viability.  I can't possibly do them all without keeping the lid off the incubator so I'll do a random sampling.  And hopefully catch the ones I didn't get first on the second round.  Not all are expected to hatch, I'm hoping for 75%.

So far important items for starting eggs:

  1. Temperature at 100 degrees.
  2. Humidity level 55-60% while incubating.
  3. Turning eggs, mine has an automatic so no need to manually turn.  Otherwise mark one side of egg with an X and the other with an O.  They should be turned at least 4 times a day,  Get an automatic turner!
  4. Place incubator in a room with static temperature of 60-80 degrees.  Helps the incubator not work so hard to keep the temp steady.

That's about it....until hatching occurs.  We'll talk about that more later.

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