Well, I'm in the 2016 Easter Hatch-a-long now!
Saw some $2.99 a carton fertile white eggs at Trader Joe's. Could not resist. They are sitting in my 'bator with the Rock Island Safeway $4.49 brown eggs, air cells traced in pencil, x's and numbers on their sides, leaning at an angle in the bottom half of an egg carton with the undersides snipped out so they get some ventilation. Carbon dioxide builds up in the bottom of 'bators that have no ventilation holes in the bottom, and I think it could be the cause of mysterious chick mortality in plastic tote brooders and coolerbators that have no such holes.
I'm somewhat concerned that my first set of eggs, the brown ones, got baked when temps rose for unknown reasons and the eggs became quite hot to the touch. Also many of the brown eggs appear clear on being candled. I've read that the Rock Island fertile eggs have low levels of fertility. So Imma hedge my bets and do a staggered hatch with two kinds of eggs. When lockdown comes for the brown eggs, I'll put in a coffee cup with an inch of distilled water and a washcloth in it to spike the humidity, which has been running around 40-50%. The air cells on the brown eggs are looking good. The white eggs are 2 weeks old but just have little nickel and dime size air cells, and I noticed one saddle shaped air cell and one floating air cell. These eggs are all getting TLC and I am handling them as though they were shipped.
I got a ventilated plastic tote brooder set up with a 150w reptile bulb clamp lamp, a cheap terrarium thermometer, shredded newspaper for litter, a little jar and big lid for a waterer, and I am looking forward to actual bitty chickens. Will post pix.
The local feed store lets customers advertise their hatchlings for sale on a chalkboard out front. I know I can't keep them all; we are zoned for 6 pullets locally. The store in question sells vaccinated hatchery pullet chicks for $3.25 each, the breeds there now are White leghorns, Dominiques, Rhodies and Barred Rocks.
There's a local store that sells eggs of white turkeys for $2.00 a flat. Come April, I'm thinking of trying to hatch some of those when the chickens are sold off. If they turn out to be infertile on inspection, they still are good for omelets, deviled eggs, and what-not. Is it true you can get $10 for a turkey poult?
I am wishing everyone luck, and reading the threads about the MPC Contest eggs with strong interest.
Count: 12 Safeway Rock Island Red Star eggs
12 Trader Joe's white eggs (California whites?)
Edited by Dubrovnik - 3/6/16 at 4:21pm