Incubating has begun!

On Wednesday June 8th, I put in my first batch of 34 eggs into the incubator! I had been trying to stabilize the temperature within the incubator and it had finally held at a steady temp of 100. So I added the water to get the humidity to 65%, and once the temp was back up, I added my first ever batch of eggs to incubate! I had 9 Gold Laced Polish Eggs, and 10 Blue Polish Eggs, and 15 of my barnyard mix eggs. I had high hopes!

UGH! These temperatures would not stabilize!!! It has fluctuated between 98 and 102.7 every single day!!! The humidity is good, but the house temps are too drastic to help stabilize it now that there are eggs inside of it, apparently. I have covered the incubator, and put a book on the side where the cord for the turner comes out, leaving a slight gap in the box. This seems to have helped, plus we have had cooler temps outside as well. It is finally staying fairly consistent between 98 and 101. A little better!

On day 4 it got to 102.7, and I was really concerned, so I opened the incubator, added cool water to help lower the inside temps quick. I decided to go ahead and candle while the lid was open to see how it was going.

Results:

Gold – 3 eggs had beaks developing, and a possible 4th one was beginning development.

Blue – 5 eggs had beaks developing, and possibly 3 more had beginning development

Homegrown – Most of the eggs were too dark of shells to see through, but it seemed that maybe 1/4 had development.

Since then, the temps are stabilizing better and better, and the humidity is easy to keep up on. So today was a full week later! The day I had originally planned on candling the eggs. I removed 6 eggs that definitely had zero development. 2 of the Gold Laced Polish and 4 of my homegrown mix. I had a blue one out, but I put it back in, just in case it was just going slower. The 6 that I took out had a very light yolk and there was clearly nothing going on with them. Oh, well, make that 5. One of them was completely empty lol, one of my own homegrown. So I changed the layout of the incubator to where my for sure eggs were separated from the maybe eggs. I had about 4 that looked like they just had blood ring, with a little other development. I plan on taking them out the next time I candle, in a week, if they remain the same.

Results:

Gold – 4 had good development, 3 are maybe’s – 2 of those I think have blood ring.

Blue – 5 had good development, 5 are maybe’s – at least 1 of those I think has blood ring

Homegrown – 4 had good development that I could see – 1 of those I think is scrambled or no good, and a couple I am pretty sure have blood rings, or the dot for the beak, or no development, and the rest of them the shells were too dark for me to see.

So right now I am expecting and hoping for 13 new baby chicks, if all continues well! Let’s hope we get some more development over this week from some of the others too! Only two more weeks to go! At this point I am looking at a 38% hatch rate for my first time incubating. Not bad, considering 19 of those eggs were shipped from a lower elevation in a box not marked fragile or live animals or anything and were tossed around like any other USPS box would have been. That part does tick me off, though. Why would you not mark the box as live animals??  Also, she included a cute rooster necklace in the packaging. That was sweet.

 

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Chicks and more chicks!

I LOVE baby chicks! They are so cute and funny and quirky! They are cuddly and sweet, and they stink. Let’s face it, 8 chicks can produce up to 2lbs of poop a day. It’s an amazing amount from such tiny little things. They poop constantly. I only have 7 chicks at the moment. I love love love when I take the little boogers (they are about 3 weeks or so) outside to an area that I have some tall grass they can play in. They feel safe, they run around me and in the grass, and they are so cute to watch. I always take pics and a couple of short videos of them. I take them outside about 4 times a week for about an hour. Its hot, so that’s about all they like since they won’t drink water if I take it out there with us.

Tomorrow, I begin my first incubating journey for MORE chicks!! I am so excited!!! I will have 9 Golden Lace Polish eggs and 10 Blue Polish eggs, and over a dozen (final amount to be determined tomorrow) of my barnyard mix bunch. I have been messing with the temperature for the last two days, trying to get the right heat. I need to get the humidity up a bit more, and then our 21 day countdown begins!!

The lady I bought the Polish eggs from packed them BEAUTIFULLY!!!! It was absolutely perfect, and she gave me this cute little rooster necklace! However, she did not label the box fragile in any way. So, it was tossed around like any other box USPS handles. So I am fairly worried at what my chances are of having any eggs hatch out, let alone a high percentage hatch out. Lets hope I can at least get 1 boy and 2 or 3 girls per color to keep! Next on the list will be Paint ones. They are sooo cute.

Although, these are not at all what I was going to buy and raise, so I am pretty surprised I ended up buying the little fluffy headed breed. They are both beautiful and hilarious to look at. Should be fun! chicks 3 weeks

Getting ready to incubate!

My chicken partner and I decided to get some rare breed eggs to incubate for our first ever incubation! Pretty risky really, since I haven’t ever incubated eggs before, and am likely to not hatch eggs out. Thankfully, I have someone giving me excellent advice to walk me through the process! Fingers crossed, and saying a prayer, that we have a great hatch rate!

So, what kind of eggs are we incubating???!!!  We bought 9 Golden Polish, and 10 Blue Polish, and then I am gathering eggs from my own beautiful barnyard mix flock to fill in a few of the spots. The incubator arrived, minus a thermostat, so it is plugged in and will run for a couple of days before I put the eggs in. The Polish eggs will be arriving tomorrow for pick up! Let’s hope the post office didn’t scramble them!!! I will be fairly upset if they were mishandled. $100 investment lost because some person doesn’t care? I don’t think so. Hmm, that reminds me, I didn’t ask if the eggs were insured, or if that is even something that can happen? She is packing them in foam, so hopefully they will be right as rain! lol. What a weird saying.

I gathered 8 eggs from my flock today, but truthfully, half of those I am not sure how old they are. Going to put them in anyway, just in case. I do have the space so might as well. It seems I have another broody hen, so I left her eggs alone. Doesn’t help that the goat was ramming me the entire time I was in there gathering half the eggs. I do not like her horns, except to grab her head to stop her from head butting me. She is so obnoxious!! She enjoys it, and sees it as play. I do not lol.

So why are there goats head butting me while I am gathering eggs? Well, I had this lovely independent hen who I called Penny. She would only let the boys mate her when she felt like it. She refused to be corralled and dominated by the boys. So, she made her own coop in the goat pen. I loved that stubborn, independent chicken!! She refused to conform. However, she did want to be a momma. So she mated with the rooster, and then did her own thing. She hatched out 7 chicks.

She raised them in the goat pen, in the old dog house the goats no longer fit into. When her babies got older, they stayed there, as their own little flock. They wouldn’t join with the other chickens and if the other’s came near them they ran away and hid. I lost my poor Penny this year. She simply disappeared one day. Her and her kids had started wandering across the road and I am afraid she might have gotten ran over or taken by a hawk, dog, or fox. I lost her in the daytime. After I lost her, and one of her daughters at the same time, I lost 2 more a short time later, and then one last one from what looks like a hawk. All of my favorites were taken or killed. And all of my brooders.

To my utter surprise, one of Penny’s two remaining daughters decided to get broody! She hatched out only three little chicks, and shortly lost 1 of them a few days in. She has two now, and it triggered the second of Penny’s daughters to go broody for herself. She is now trying to hatch out eggs of her own! At least, I assume she has eggs under her in there. She won’t let me check, and the goat head butting me the entire time doesn’t help with checking things out. Today would have been the perfect time, as she finally emerged to drink and eat, but Lily the headbutting goat would not leave me alone in there. She should have baby chicks in the next week or so! I named Penny’s girls, Penny, jr (she looks alot like her momma) and Betty.

Today, while gathering my 8 eggs, I discovered a hen in the garden hiding under a bush. And she has about three eggs under her. I will wait and see if she is trying to hatch them out before I gather them up for the incubator. If she wants to raise some chicks I will let her.

Oh my goodness, I am going to have baby chicks everywhere!!!! I can’t wait!

I’m a chicken blogger! LOL

My dad got some chickens a couple of years ago, and raised them on my property I was renting. I didn’t really have much to do with them. Out of sight, out of mind. When I moved, we decided we needed a rooster! My friend had 2 roosters, and the deal was we had to take both if we wanted one. Ha! Trickster. How fun, we had roosters! (One of them pictured below – the white and yellow boy)

Oh my word, I wanted to just eat them. They crowed all the time, not just one rooster, but both. They crowed, and then competed crowing, and then the neighbors rooster across the road decided he needed to get involved in the crowing, which only increased the crowing from the two roosters here. They crowed right by our living room windows all of the time. It was awful. It took many months for the crowing of those roosters to stop getting on my very last nerve. It did, finally, happen though.

I love the crowing now, and the unique sound from each boy. We currently have 4 roosters at the house! As I watched 3 of them grow up here as chicks, it was funny watching them trying to figure out how to crow. Our big boy Ralph would nearly fall on his face everytime he attempted to crow. It was hilarious!! It took him awhile, (he isn’t very bright, even for a chicken) but he finally managed to learn how to crow and stay on his feet. (Pictured below, he is the black one)

In fact, I love chickens!! I had no idea how amusing they were to watch! They are so funny and slightly goofy as they go about roaming on our small 5 acres. They take themselves into the coop each evening, and happily hunt bugs and mice during the day. They coo and chatter to eachother, and I love it! I love every minute of it!

I bought chicks. They stink. They poop so very much it is unreal. They are so adorable! They are so very cuddly! I love them to pieces!

I bought an egg incubator. It holds 49 eggs. I just ordered some rare chicken breed eggs. I am officially becoming a crazy chicken lady! I guess that is not surprising, considering I am already the crazy horse and the crazy cat lady!

So, I am starting a blog. Not a blog about all of my critters, but just my chickens, and maybe a horse or goat or dog or cat thrown in sometimes. This blog, however, is dedicated to my crazy, noisy, hilarious chickens, and my journey incubating eggs for the first time, and raising chicks. It should be a fun experience, and I am looking forward to it all!