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Dwdoc's Chicken Coop
Hello and welcome to my BYC page.
Here’s my story:
I grew up as a military brat and lived in base housing most my life as a child. I then spent a career in the service and again lived either on base or in apartments. I got out of the service, started a private investigations company, bought a house, etc… About three years ago my step son came home with some eggs he got from a local farm. I thought it was pretty cool and the eggs were great. So, that planted the chicken seed.
In early December, 2010, we visited a horse barn in the Ocala area and the lady there had a small flock of chickens. She showed us her coop and the eggs her birds had produced. This spurred me into action - keep in mind that I knew NOTHING about animals with the exception of my two dogs.
We secured a bunch of scrap lumber and purchased some siding and netting and I went to work building my coop.
Coop with detachable run:
Inside the Coop (the black towards the rear is blocking off the nesting boxes until I have layers living in the coop.):
I finished my coop and we got two 3 day old Black Australorp chicks from a lady who had just received an order from an online hatchery. We made a brooder out of a tupperware storage tub and we were off and running.
Since then the BAs have fully feathered and were asked to leave our garage and have been moved into the coop and are thriving.
I decided I wanted Barred Plymouth Rocks (BRs) and ordered some from a hatchery. I only wanted five but ordered 20 to make the shipping and handling more economical – I figured it shouldn't be too hard to sell the excess chicks.
They were hatched on Jan 19, 2011 and arrived on the 21st. All of them alive and healthy.
They are doing great and are growing so fast! The pic below is one of the BRs at 10 Days old.
On 02/10/2011, I set 10 Australorp eggs (shipped) in my homemade "Bucs-Bator" (see link above to my Build Page). It's not pretty but it seems to work.
These eggs were put on lockdown on 02/28/2011:
“Bucs-Bator” First Hatch After Action Report.
I started this adventure well before taking any action by reading up on incubation here on BYC and the web. Once I set my mind to the task I was on the fast track – is there a fast track when incubating????
On Feb 05, 2011, I ordered 10 Black Australorp Eggs from a breeder selling on Ebay.
On Feb 06, 2011, I began working on my incubator (Bucs-Bator). It did not take long to learn I could not maintain the heat levels I wanted; so I turned to the folks here on BYC. BYCer “rickerra” (BTW: THANK YOU VERY MUCH!) suggested I add heat sinks and a thermostat which I did with great success.
On Feb 09, 2011, the eggs arrived. Ten were ordered, 12 arrived, two were cracked during shipping and the rest looked fine. I took advantage of one of the cracked eggs by opening it up and looking for the “bullseye” and it was present. I fired up the incubator; let it steady out. I let the rest for 24 hours.
On Feb 10, 2011, the eggs were set. My temp remained steady between 99.1 and 100.4F, the humidity averaged 44% and the eggs were manually being turned three times a day by tilting the incubator (simulating an automatic eggs turner). I purchased Distilled water for the water tray.
On Feb 18, 2011, I candled the eggs and determined that I had two with no signs of development. I very carefully cracked them open and the yolks looked like they had been scrambled. This left me eight eggs three of which looked really good and five which I marked with a question mark because I simply was not sure if they were viable.
On Feb 21, 2011, I candled again. This candling eliminated three of the questionable eggs. I had two with early signs of life but they were “quitters”. Based on the charts I have seen on the web; they quit on or about day three. The last of the three had a blood ring. This left me with three good and two eggs I was still unsure of.
On Feb 28, 2011, I candled the eggs for the last time. I still had what appeared to be three good and two which I could not determine.
On Mar 04, 2011, day 22, I had one which hatched. I float tested the remaining eggs late that evening and I had zero movement. I opened them all at that point. The questionable egg quit on day 14 or 15 based on the charts and the last three looked as if they made it to day 21 but they had a greenish-yellow mass/ribbon in the area of the yolk sack which others here on BCY identified as bacteria build up.
Today, Mar 05, 2011, I took apart the incubator to make some modifications and removed the water tray. Upon inspecting the water tray I found mildew. I don’t know for sure, but, if mold hurts people I have to believe that it can harm a growing fetus. I wonder if the problem is the Distilled water as there is no chlorination; thus, nothing to stop the mold from growing?
In conclusion: I look at this hatch as a moderate success. The original 12 eggs shipped obviously took a beating during shipment. I believe this eliminated seven of the 12. One made it to day 14 or 15 and died and four died from bacterial growth. All of which I don’t believe I had any control over. I would like to know about the mold issue and if you have any idea how to eliminate this mold problem I would greatly appreciate the advice.
But, once all is said and done I have this chick to show for my efforts and that’s pretty cool:
Today I intend to set 18 Blue Barred Rock eggs today; these eggs were not shipped. I got them from BYCer “Halo”.
Well that’s my story. Thanks for visiting.
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