I put my bator away in July. I was thinking I would do the first batch in late Feb, when I am sure to have purebred Araucanas and Mille Fleurs.
When do you like to do your first batch of the year?
(4 season folks only, please!)
I hatched some this past January...I couldn't wait!!!
Of course, I had my dh build me a brooder box inside the coop half way up the wall so they wouldn't be on the ground. He built one that was solid wood except for the two screened openings in the tops ( he made it so I could put a divider between and make two separate brooder boxes. he put heat lamps over the screened in part on top. It was deep in litter so it was pretty warm inside that box. It was about four feet long by one foot with a removable divider that made two-two ft. sections if needed. Does that make sense? Worked great so I didn't have to keep the chicks in the house to keep them warm until their feathers came in.
I am GOING to stop this year, I swear! I can't stand having chicks inside all winter long again! I'll probably start hatching quail early, so I have some young ones to sell in April, and then when my 'breeders' start laying, I'll be hatching eggs from them. So probably March or April, maybe February, but I hope not!
Fall 2008 he said, "No more hatching this year."
So I loaded the bator on Jan 15 2009.
In April he said no more hatching until the shed-coop was done. It's almost done and I'm pre-heating the bator for more eggs
I'm preheating my bator now for another quail hatch! I live in Canada...truly 4 seasons (Winter, road work, more road work, and more roadwork...then we move back into Winter again.)
I plan on hatching all winter...but I have eggs from my own birds (under lights) that I will be hatching. I would put the 'bator away if I had to rely on shipped eggs cause those'll freeze in the mail this time of year.
Thank you very much. very simple. He also made a summer one that is over four feet long on the floor that is just chicken wire around the whole thing. he found an old aluminum screen door with hinges that he used for a lid on it. That is my summer brooder box or when a chicken needs to be separated from the flock. Of course, lots of shavings for litter ...like about six to eight inches during the winter plus D.E. All are cozy and safe so far!