I'm the proud owner of 4 Plymouth Rock Barred hens and 2 Araucana Roosters. I hatched the roosters myself at the beginning of August 2009...no incubator or anything. I hadn't planned on being the one to hatch them, but when one of my hens went broody, I got 2 fertilized Araucana eggs from a friend figuring she could hatch them and add to our flock. However, a week before hatching, she decided she wasn't broody anymore and abandoned the eggs. I could hear week little *cheeps* coming from one of the eggs, so I brought them in the house and read here on the forum some ideas of house to finish incubating the eggs. For a few days, I wore the eggs in my bra...hehehe...and at night, put the eggs in the coop hoping someone would sit on them during the night. After a few days, I saw pipping in one of the eggs! I though, ok...here they come!. Well 48 hours later, the chick barely made progress and I wrapped the eggs in a moist towel and put them under a light bulb. I finally decided that if I didn't assist, the chick would die. I also read online how to "assist" in the hatching process, so I did...and SUCCESS! I figured that the chick my still die, but at least it has a better chance at life than if it were on it's own. Two days later, the second egg finally pipped. This time, I waited only about 24 hours before assisting, since the first chick was so weak after hatching. This one was a little stronger looking after hatching. I was quite shocked any of this worked since circumstances and humidity, etc., was quite unusual for them. I raised them in the house until they were 2 months old, then put them out in the coop. The hens did not want them in there, so I converted a large dog house into their make-shift coop for bedtime and it seems to be working. However, now they are 4 months old, and both ended up being roosters! NOT what I wanted! Now they are chasing down my hens and ripping feathers out and really hurting them. I haven't gotten eggs from the girls in over a week. I think they are so stressed out, they stopped laying. This can't go on...so now, I have to find home for the roos. They are so sweet with people and each other. They sleep and cuddle together and they'll come in the house if I open the door. They will sit on my lap and allow my to pet them and actually seem to enjoy it.
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