Many thanks to Laree, The Sheriff, Superchemicalgirl, NotAFarm, and Kathyinmo who have consented to help me with this HUGE 3rd Annual, BYC Hatch-a-long!!!
Past news articles...
Once you show up on the list, put yourself on the map HERE
(Instructions to put yourself on the map are found in post #714) Thanks SCG!
Fill out the participation form HERE.
Check it all out HERE!
Guess the number of eggs to be set HERE!
Check the results HERE!
mrheinz77's March Egg Swap is HERE
And the form for the signup is HERE
Laree will be preparing more spreadsheets for contests, SCG will be preparing our hatch-a-long global map and will be giving us daily updates.
If you have prizes or contests to be considered, PM myself AND SCG.
So folks! On Saturday, March 17th at high Noon (where ever you are) we set Chicken eggs...
(We want to hatch on April 7th, the day BEFORE Easter Sunday.)
button quail: 16 days to hatch; set March 22nd
coturnix quail: 18 days to hatch; set March 20th
seramas: 19 days to hatch; set March 19th
other bantam and LF: 21 days to hatch; set March 17th!
bobwhite quail: 23 days to hatch; set March 15th
call duck: 26 days to hatch; set March 12th
mallard (derived) duck,goose, turkey, guinea: 28 days to hatch; set March 10th
goose: 28 to 32 days to hatch; set March 6th -March 10th
muscovy duck: 35 days to hatch; set March 3rd!
emu: approx. 53 days to hatch-- (set them on February 14th!) let's hope nobody is setting emu! .
Hatching tips are found at the bottom of this post!
If you haven't done so, right now is the time to start communicating with breeders! Now is the time to get your eggs lined up, (or to pray for your girls to start laying) to have your eggs arrive by March 16th so that you can set them at High Noon (your time) on March 17th, for an April 7th Hatch! (Day before Easter Sunday) If you don't have a bator and can't plan for a broody, now is the time to get an incubator ordered or a homemade one built!
BTW: GQF... has just UPGRADED their 1588 Hovabator with a DIGITAL DISPLAY... if you order now you'll get quail eggs with it!
2 years ago my Easter Hatch was entitled the "Great Blue Wheaten Ameraucana Hatch of 2010", but since it was around Easter and since I've gotten baby chicks right around Easter every year for the past 4 years, it's become a tradition. Last year in the 2nd Annual Hatch, we had over 170 participants!!! The last NYD hatch went over that amount so I guess it is because BYC continues to grow. Obviously, this hatch a long has become a HUGE BYC Tradition.
So let's start discussing! .. and planning... So far, 5 GFM's will be given out for various contests that we'll HATCH UP.... I've already had folks contact me about donating prizes, this could very well be the very BIGGEST BYC Hatch-A-Long ever and everyone is invited!!!
Who is hatching with me???!!!
If you are a part of the hatch, log into your Google account and mark yourself on the map! RIGHT HERE
Who is partcipating? --- 144 so far!!....
1 silkie 2
ChooksChick - Mahonri will be hatching a famous 'grab bag' of interesting breeds from her farm.
craz e laid e
java girl 2
kathyinMo - (member of the Mahonri sanity patrol)
Laree -- my Valley of the Sun chicken bud and maker of the famous Laree Brooder!!
Mahonri! (that's me)
NotaFarm -daily updater... and providing Mahonri Icelandic eggs.
onawhimfarm .... #80!
Superchemicalgirl - HOW could we do ANY HUGE BYC hatch without her and Laree?
THE SHERIFF ! - helps keep Mahonri sane
WhiteMountainsRanch - Mahonri will be hatching her BW Ameraucanas.
The lastest "Official list" of participants is found above. If you don't see your name on it and you want to be a part of Our Easter Hatch PM me. If I put you on twice, PM me! (I'm too tired to go through and compare again!)... I'm imagining, that eventually Kathyinmo will come along and help us put them all in alphabetical order!!!... like she did last year....
.... if you tell us you are "in", say so in the thread or by a PM to me, you'll be added to this list!
Many more links to spreadsheets etc.. will be added somewhere here or above.
THIS IS POST #1 and will be referred to MANY times in the next 2.5 months.
Mahonri's 3rd Annual BYC Easter Hatch-A-Long Contests
1. CayuseRanch's Total Number of Eggs Set Contest
This contest is open to all participants to guess the total number of eggs that will be set by all participants in Mahonri's 3rd Annual BYC Easter Hatch-a-long! Each participant is to fill out the spreadsheet with their guess as to the total number of eggs that participants will be placing in their incubators for this hatch. All "guesses" must be submitted no later than Midnight EST, Sunday March 11th. Please submit your total number of eggs set to the spreadsheet by Midnight EST Tuesday, March 20th so we can tally up what was set and declare a winner. The person who comes closest to guessing the total number without going over will win a beautiful rooster egg basket.
Go here to submit your guess for the number of eggs set:
2. Kathyinmo's Calendar Photo Contest
The goal is to make a poultry and holiday themed calendar. Submit your poultry related holiday pictures - all ranges of poultry age accepted. You will need to submit your photos on this thread as well as PM them to kathyinmo. Submission of your picture(s) to this thread and to kathyinmo means that you are giving permission to use your photo in a calendar printing. Photos must be taken by you, the entrant. Contest runs until Easter.
Limit of 3 entries per person.
3. Notafarm's An Opportune Time Award
Three random post numbers have been chosen (known only to NotAFarm and SCG). The person who posts at that "opportune time" gets the award. You need not be a hatch participant to win this.
Prizes: Each post winner will receive a 6 mo GFM
4. Notinoz2007's Random Entrant Award
On set date (17 March 2012) Notinoz2007 will randomly select one entrant from the signed up pool on the first post page to receive the prize.
Prize: coffee mug and stuffed chick toy
Soon To Be Open Contests:
1. Best Hatch Rate
For this contest during this hatch, participants will need to be setting a minimum of 24 eggs, with confirmation picture posted to this thread on set day. These can be under a couple of broodies or in your incubators. Tell us how many you will have cooking and then don't go back and edit your post where you tell us how many eggs you start with. We'll need that info by Monday the 19th of March at latest to be included in the contest. When the hatch is over, you'll take a pic and post it to show us how many you actually got...the picture must be of sufficient quality to count all the chicks.
In the event of a tie, the one who hatches the most chicks wins.
2. How Many Chicks Will Mahonri Hatch?
Your guess needs to be made before 11:59:59PM on March 24th, 2012. The guesses will be posted above somewhere beside the hatch participant's name.
In order to help break a tie, You'll need to guess the breeds of the first three chicks out. If you want to know what breeds are in Mahonri's bators read the thread! Laree will be putting up a spreadsheet for the # of guesses and the first three breeds.
3. ChestnutRidge's Most Ingenious Chicken Design Contest WEEK ONE CONTEST
During week 1 of incubation (17 to 23 March), post a picture and brief explanation of your cool brooder / feeder / waterer / saddle / whatever that you created for your fowl. Once the contest ends they'll be put on a BYC poll for the kind folk of BYC to vote for a winner.
Prize: A copy of Gail Damerow's Chicken Health Handbook, which he/she will surely appreciate being such a witty chicken-fancier.
1. Thebirdguy's Cutest Baby Picture Contest WEEK TWO CONTEST
Pictures can be of a baby of any breed or species but the picture must be taken by the entrant. Limit 3 entries per person. Post during week two: 24 to 30 March.
Prize: 12 raffle tickets for the Rocky Mountain Chickenstock on May 5th where Greenfire Eggs and much much more can be won.
2. ChooksChick Flapper Contest WEEK THREE CONTEST
Post a picture of your fowl flapping in action! All fowl are accepted. It's difficult to get these shots, so start trying! Submissions must be taken by entrant. Post your shots between 31 March and 6 April. A BYC poll will be open to decide the winner after the contests closes to submissions.
Prize: perhaps some hatching eggs from ChooksChick!?
3. Cutest Chick Picture
For this contest, the chick hatched must be from Mahonri's 3rd Annual BYC Easter Hatch. The picture will need to be taken and posted by or before 11:59PM EST on April 15th, 2012. We'll be asking folks in the hatch as well as some moderators to help judge if they are willing. There will be 1st and 2nd place awards given.
4. Best Overall Hatch Participant
At the end of the hatch, PM your choice for best hatch participant to Mahonri. This should be someone who you thought was supportive, helpful, funny, encouraging... The person with the most votes wins! Votes will start on April 10th and end on April 12th, 2012.
SOME of The Contests ---- Mahonri's ancient version below
-Best Hatch rate % set/hatched (For this hatch in order to be eligible for this one you will need to set at least 24 eggs.)
-Cutest new chick pic... it's anticipated that there will be two awards given in this category
-Best overall participant - a 6 month GFM and one other prize to be announced.
-HOW MANY CHICKS WILL MAHONRI HATCH?
-...other prizes and contests yet to be announced! stay tuned!
BEST HATCH RATE CONTEST: For this contest during this hatch, participants will be hatching a minimum of 24 eggs. These can be under a couple of broodies or in your incubators. Tell us how many you will have cooking and then don't go back and edit your post where you tell us how many eggs you start with. We'll need that info by Monday the 19th of March at latest to be included in the contest. When the hatch is over, you'll take a pic and post it to show us how many you actually got... it would be nice if we could count them.
In the event of a tie, the one who hatches the most chicks wins.
Cutest Chick Picture: Pic will need to be taken and posted by or before 11:59PM on April 15th, 2012... I'll be asking folks in the hatch as well as some moderators to help me judge if they are willing. There will be 1st and 2nd place awards given... as has been previously stated, chick pics must be chicks from this Easter's hatch.
Guess for # of chicks Mahonri hatches need to be made before 11:59:59PM on March 24th, 2012. The guesses will be posted above somewhere beside the hatch participant's name.
In order to help break a tie, You'll need to guess the breeds of the first three chicks out.
If you want to know what breeds are in my bators read the thread!
Laree will be putting up a spreadsheet for the # of guesses and the first three breeds.
BEST Overall Hatch Participant
This will be determined by vote of participants in a PM to me. Votes will start on April 10th and end on April 12th, 2012.
Are y'all ready to start having some fun?!!!
TIPS FROM BREEDERS FOR HAVING A GREAT HATCH!
Hachability Hints and Secrets
1. Keep the oyster shell available at all time free choice. The hen can regulate her intake. Shell quality is really important because after about Day 10, the chick somehow takes calcium out of the shell to help build its skeleton! Wow! (I've lost the link.)
2. My tip is to be sure your breeder stock is healthy and fed appropriately for hatching. from this link
It is of basic importance to realize that hens can still produce eggs even though the dietary levels of vitamins will not allow the eggs to hatch. The nutrient deficiencies most likely to give rise to reduced hatchability, unless adequate breeder supplements are used, are Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and some others of the B group (eg biotin), Vitamin E, manganese, zinc, phosphorus.
3. Don't forget your roosters when considering egg hatchability. Their lighting requirements and feed intake are just as important as the hens. A breeder told me that he increases his roosters lighting to 14 hours before putting them in their breeding pens in January (he lives north of me in WI). Those of you farther south may not have this issue.
4. Choose clean, large, normally shaped eggs. Smaller eggs and double yolkers are poor candidates; smaller eggs may not have the proper room for development and double yolkers rarely make it to term. Long skinny eggs also have a hard time hatching.
5. DARK COLORED EGGS-- from ChooksChicks - I only sand until I'm just through the color, and then I mist the eggs with betadine-water, mixed to the color of iced tea. This covers the contamination that could occur now that I've removed the bloom.
The idea is to promote evaporation to allow the chick to grow smaller than it would if it contained all of the moisture it started with. I have had too many chicks large enough that they couldn't pip or hatch properly- fully formed chicks that didn't make it at hatch. Once I started using this method (got it from an Emu farmer!) I have had significantly better success with shipped eggs. It doesn't seem to really be necessary with local eggs (my own) and I'm not certain why. When hatching in a really nice incubator, like a Sportsman or an rcom, it also doesn't appear to be necessary, but with most affordable models, it's a helpful method.
I do increase humidity at the end of my hatch, as per my Incubation Cheater, the same for Marans as for other eggs. My feeling is that if you have evaporated the proper amount during the first 18 days, you can't drown them with humidity at the end. Humidity merely prevents evaporation, it doesn't make eggs 'take-on' water.
This works well for me, but like most on BYC, I don't consider myself and egg-spert... I just like to share my egg-speriences to help anyone else who might be able to learn from them!
MORE - Regarding sanding the Marans (or Penedescenca, or Wellies, etc.) eggs, I use an emery board or 400+ grain sandpaper. I use a circular motion and make sure I'm moving the hand with the sander, not the egg.
I then put the eggs on a paper towel and mist them with a 30% povidone iodine to 70% water blend
I then wait for it to dry, turn, repeat, dry, turn, repeat. You can't be too careful about making sure the whole thing gets lightly misted, but don't
Regarding field peas in feed recipes, I use them in my feed recipe, and it's been working exceedingly well for me. I use no more than 6% of any one type, and they are not heated. I have a soy-free, low corn recipe that uses peanuts and lots of diversity for a wide amino acid profile. My eggs ship VERY well and hatch great most of the time. There are always exceptions, of course, but not often.
6. From Gamamachick -- A touch of Oxine in the drinking water and also when incubator is running and hatching the wee little babes...put a little oxine in the water pan and clean the incubator out with Oxine diluted with water....Avia Charge is a great product for the breeders....Tips for helping to hatch the new babies
7. From Spangled -- If separated before egg collection begins, give the rooster and hens enough time to get to know each other before the beginning of egg collection. Three to four weeks seems a safe bet. Sometimes the hens take a little bit of time to get used to the new guy on the block before she starts accepting his advances.
8. I believe it is beneficial to open the incubator for a few minutes daily. I like to mimic the natural conditions of a hen's care, and she gets up to walk around, eat, drink, poo, etc., for about a half-hour daily- sometimes twice.
This gives me time to turn (if need be), smell, and candle my eggs if I like. I just open it for a few minutes if I'm not intending to handle them. I do this most days until 'confinement.' Some will be aghast and argue this is insane behavior...but I'm just sharing what works for me.
9. BY FAR the best thing you can o is to be certain your hens are getting good vitamins and minerals. This has already been mentioned, of course, but I can't stress it enough! Fresh Kale, Chard and spinach are fabulous treats, and I would also suggest salmon and tuna in the egg-collection week. I supplement my feed with fish meal, and I use an organic nutrient supplement to assure proper vitamins and minerals in the feed. I use Molasses for vitamin B and Iron, and I use a liquid nutrient supplement for additional Omegas and vitamin E.
10. If you get eggs that has ends that are somewhat similar and you can't be sure which end is the air-cell end, candle to see which end is correct. Sometimes they are not what you'd guess. If the egg is particularly fresh and you still can't tell due to lack of air-cell altogether, set the egg on its side when you set them and wait a couple of days: there will be a darker hue and the air-cell will be defined. Now put the right side up!
11. WORMING OUR BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!! the one I use, it's called verm-x and it's so very good!!!!!!!! my egg production is coming back now and this was just the first time I did it!!!!!!!!!! I am geting more this week!!!!!!!! verm-x is THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!
12. One way to really get a good control on your temp when using an LG incubator is to get yourself an old dimmer knob or stove knob and superglue it to the adjustment peg on the incubator. It allows you to make much more slight adjustments with a good idea of just what, exactly, you did. The thing that always kills me about the silly white pegs is you have no idea how much it really gave when you touched it...and then you have to go back and check on it again and again...it's brutal.
13. In preparing for the healthiest eggs possible by feeding the hens optimum food and treats, we must cut back on treats with lower nutritive value, particularly keeping protein content above 16%.
I have used canned tuna to boost protein quickly, and the birds adore it. If you can find turkey or gamebird STARTER, that tends to be around 30% protein and you can mix it with scratch 4 or 5:1 to give them something fun to eat and still have overall higher protein. This also works if you mix wild with gamebird starter- and wild bird mix has a much lower corn content, so you'll be diversifying their feed better.
You can also use black oil sunflower seeds to treat them, as it's about the right protein content. If you have a feed mill near you, ask for 5# of 'peanut pickouts' to take home and treat the flock with- this is just raw unsalted peanuts, which are exceptional for protein and amino acid profile for breeders. Much cheaper from the mill
14. Oh, another one, but it's for AFTER they hatchHave baby parrot formula on hand for the freshly hatched chicks. This is a powdered feed that is high in protein, contains large, easily absorbed amounts of vitamins and minerals, and pre- and pro-biotics for establishing appropriate gut flora right away. This is an essentia l tool to have on hand for weak chicks, and it tastes great, so it really gets them going if you sprinkle it over their feed.
A small dish of sand, an old branch of fallen wood, and a plug of garden soil with grass (roots and all) are excellent things to add to the brooder for entertainment as well as microbes and appropriate environmental exposure. If you have these and you keep your heat source in one corner so that the chicks can control their own temperature by going nearer or farther, you won't have any issues with mucky bums at all.
This will most likely be the biggest and best BYC Hatch along ever!