Getting the flock out of here - a diary of a crazy chicken man

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ozexpat, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Bens-Hens

    Bens-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah...that's pretty big! Now the hair pulling wait!

    Is Bernie doing some sort of manual action on the trays for now? Something like a poll poking out a hole or two strings?

    I really am pulling for you guys this hatch.
  2. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
    oz how are u heating it?
  3. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    Is that why the bator is only half full? (sorry couldn't resist [​IMG])
  4. Jucknath

    Jucknath Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2012
  5. LFchixranch

    LFchixranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2013
    South Central PA
    I see room for 2 more shelves......3 if you put em on sliders[​IMG]
  6. Lorien

    Lorien Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 10, 2013
    Austin, TX
    Finally finished! Grand adventures! Love it!
  7. Phage

    Phage Mad Scientist

    Aug 1, 2009
    San Diego, CA
  8. LFchixranch

    LFchixranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2013
    South Central PA
    Sure it is, The more he can hatch, the more $$ he can make selling chicks and adult birds. Although housing will eventually become an issue if he doesn't learn to WHACK the extras that he grows for freezer camp/fresh lunches. I know Oz will bring em around on that issue, [​IMG]lol. That's if Momma Oz doesn't do it for em
  9. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    Summary of Getting The Flock Out of Here Part 3.

    Following the moments of panic when the golf bag was delayed then found, it was a very smooth trip for the eggs. Customs signed off on my declaration and I was good to go.

    Arrival in Bacolod was delayed an hour so I went home to the in-laws place and passed out. I picked up the plywood needed for the new bator before the stores closed and then had a nice meal with Mrs. Oz.

    On Sunday morning we were up at 4am. Mrs. Oz headed north to the airport, me and the eggs headed south. One of the bridges along the highway was out and we had to take a 20 mile detour that, despite adding time to my journey, was a great drive through native hardwood tree tunnels and fields of rice paddies and sugar cane. The beauty caused me to be reminded of how wonderful this country can be, and I hoped well for its future as it claws its way out of poverty.

    With a quick text message sent 3km from home, Analou was at the gate to meet me. It was great to be home, albeit without my wife and children. Following the unloading of the car we got straight to work. We built the turner first. It’s a double-decker with 6 tray capacity on each shelf and a theoretical capacity 360 chicken eggs. We then built the bator around the dimensions of the turner. It’s generously larger in height as it was simpler to go with the 48” width of the plywood than make extra cuts. It has six 12V PC fans to ensure temperatures are even throughout. I settled for manual turning 3 times a day to keep it simple. Bernie just raises and lowers one side of the see-saw.

    My best bud, and one of Mrs Oz’ cousins who lives locally, lent a hand. He is the duck breeder and brought out a duck on the Sunday to butcher. He also bought a guy to kill it and the rooster so Bernie got out of doing the deed. We had roast duck for lunch and chicken adobo for dinner, so along with the eggs for breakfast, we only ate farm-harvested food. It was very satisfying. At the end of the day I passed out. We just had the wiring to go.

    On Monday morning I awoke at 4 am and wired up the thermostats. The heaters did not like the on/off cycling and shut down. My buddy’s son rescued us with a trip to the hardware store and a pair of 300W halogen lights. It only took one to bring the bator to temp and keep it stable. The second is good to have for back-up.

    At 8am we set the eggs. There were some breakages but overall, the foam inserts that I used (not the undersized ones somebody shipped eggs to me with) did a great job. The quail eggs got beat up – they have such thin shells though so I am not surprised. We ended up with enough to try and hatch some breeders. The turkeys, guinea fowl and peafowl were all intact. Two of the twenty-two goose eggs were two cracked along with sixteen chicken eggs and the aforementioned quail.

    The quail were set in an auto-turner on the floor of the bator along with the fourteen goose eggs we did not set under a duck. The incubator was positioned on bamboo legs that were in dishes of water to ant-proof the bator.

    Due dates

    Lock down


    June 12

    June 14

    June 15

    June 17
    Guineas, PeaFowl, Turkey

    June 22

    June 24

    June 25

    June 26-28


    July 1

    I left at lunch time with instructions for Bernie to go to Kabankalan the following day to pick up a 23 plate truck battery to back up the power supply. I had an appointment with the social worker in Bacolod at 4pm. With the car loaded with items needed by Mrs. Oz in the rental house in Cavite, I headed off at a good clip. About 45 minutes into the drive, I received a call that the Bacolod social worker no longer required me to see her as I was already set up for a meeting with the social worker in Cavite (if you think Government clogs up in USA, you have no idea compared with the machinations of regionalization here in the Philippines). I decided to head back to Kabankalan and then take the battery out to the farm that day and give Bernie one last round of instructions.

    The issues of the last attempt at hatching seemed to be resolved. We had a digital thermostat set to turn on the lamp at 37.7C and off at 38.0C. The temp in the bator swings from 37.4C to 38.3C – right in the range it should be. The egg temp is right at 37.9C. This is more than acceptable. The dehumidifier was collecting water and dropped the internal humidity from 65% down to 30%. With manual turning and the opening of the bator, the average humidity is in the 40s. This is more than acceptable. The incubator is ant proofed and the back-up power in case of brown-outs is ready.

    At 630PM I gave Bernie and Analou a final set of instructions. Eat as many eggs as they want. Give the rest to my in-laws until the pullets’ eggs were big enough to sell. I will be back on July 6 to see all our hatchlings.
  10. ozexpat

    ozexpat CocoBeach Farm

    Ok - This post made me the cola I was drinking free flow from my nose. Thanks Ben.

    Bernie has yet to do the deed but he did eat chicken, Thats a good start. He will come around.

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