Monday, July 6, 2015

Incubating: take two

First hatched chick
A chick unzipped from it's shell

Well, incubating: take one was quite the disappointment, so we tried again. This time we did things a little differently, with dry incubation. Instead of adding water every few days to keep the humidity around 50% we added none, left the vents open (in very humid NJ) and allowed the room to control it. The incubator is kept in the bathroom, at a steady temp inside and outside. Because of this, humidity stayed between 25-30%. 

This second batch from the incubator:

Charlie helping me take pictures
I had 30 eggs inside and 20 made it to lockdown. Pretty good statistics for the obvious infertile eggs and a sizable gap of no electric. Half hatched, 5 others pipped but didn't make it, and the rest didn't make it all the way. I'm pretty happy with these results, we've got another Cream legbar, 2 araucanas, and a few more polish on our chick porch. YUP I've re-named the porch seeing as we've got twenty little chickies running around out there!

To the left is my frizzle polish from the first batch.
To the right is my legbar pullet (90% sure it's a pullet at least!)

Mama and her chicks
So the humans had a 50% hatch rate... My broody hen outside on the other hand had a 100% hatch rate. I gave a first time mom, 8 eggs the same time we started up the incubator. She's a few years old, but hasn't been given the opportunity to hatch eggs, and she did a fantastic job. When I had checked her eggs before I thought only 6/8 were progressing properly, so imagine my surprise when I found seven chicks this morning! Clearly mama hens are better at hatching then we are, even with 3 thermometers and two hygrometers.

 More lessons learned, more chicks on the farm. Pretty soon we'll be selling a few of these polish chicks, if interested, stay tuned!

On another note, my beautiful lilies are blooming:

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