Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Hatching chicks, sustainability, and ingenuity
Part of our drive towards sustainability includes hatching our own meat birds and replacement layers. The chicks hatching now should be mostly New Hampshire reds with a barred rock cross here and there. After all we have about forty NH hens and three roosters. We only have six barred rock hens and one barred rock cross rooster. However, when I look at the nine black chicks and eight red chicks, it makes me think that barred rock rooster has been pretty busy.
It looks like we have a lot of eggs that are not hatching, but I think that has to do with egg husbandry, rather than electronics. We collected the eggs and then couldn't find our old Styrofoam incubator, so the eggs sat and sat for about a week while Mike repurposed the frig to make a new incubator. I didn't think they would hatch, because if you are holding eggs to put into an incubator, they should be turned regularly, but they were pretty much left to sit in one position the whole time.
Next up -- turkey poults! We've only collected about eight turkey eggs so far, but we'll hopefully find another dozen or so and get them started in the incubator by this weekend. They take 28 days to hatch (compared to 21 for chickens), so I'll give you an update in a month.