Thank you so much for the welcome
We bought our own incubator, nothing to over the top, a small auto turner, which has done well at maintaining the right temp (give or take 0.2c) but has been a nightmare maintaining humidity.
Incubating 10 eggs, by our maths we took off 20% for failures, and possibly 50% cocktails leaving us, hopefully with 4 hens! Obviously it probably won't work like that, but that was the science behind it. We could have just bought some chicks from a local breeder, but we thought the whole magical process would be educational and if there is any that fail, a little life lesson too for our 11, 12 and 2 year old children, plus handling the chicks from so young meaning the birds maybe more used to our contact and be friendlier.
The breeder who we bought the eggs from has agreed to take any boys we have back (and deal with them) I don't think she will raise them for meat tho.. She's offered to swap them for some chicks just incase we don't get many or no hens at all!.
We have 2 X Aracunana, 2 X cream legbar, 2 X French wheaten Moran, 2 X copper blue Moran and 2 X Rhode Island reds! After lots of candling all the eggs seem healthy with lots of movement.. The darker brown eggs are very hard to candle but can make out air sakes and see some movement.. Only concern I have at the moment is that there air sacks are a little small, so keeping the humidity slightly lower until lock down.
We are set up and ready for brooding, having a large large really useful box and heat plate, plus food, grit, wood shavings, drinker and food dispenser.. Looking at a very large rabbit cage as the next step before the coop... Now trying to deside on a coop and run! We don't want anything to small, but also don't want to spend a fortune! Currently looking at a xxl cocoon coop and a metal 3mx4m run... Hens will be able to roam the garden too, but we want them to have as much room as possible if they have to stay in.
We will post some photos when (fingers crossed) we have some hatchlings!
Steve and family
Hi and welcome to the crazy and addictive world of chickens. How exciting to be starting off with eggs in an incubator. Hope it's just on loan, otherwise you will soon be battling with a very serious disorder called chicken maths. It's difficult enough controlling the numbers when you are just relying on broody hens, but incubators give you too much free rein to be feed the addiction, unless you are very disciplined.
Yes, do tell what flavour eggs you have cooking? Do you have a plan for the excess cockerels that unfortunately are an unavoidable drawback of the whole process? I rear them to eat but it's not an easy path and the meat is quite different to supermarket chicken as well as not being nearly so much of it for the effort to process them.
Anyway, enough of the drawbacks, lets look forward to seeing some photos of your first fluff balls soon.
Best wishes for a successful hatch and more pullets than cockerels.