How to prepare for hatching eggs and raising chicks for the first time?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SquishyPandas, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. SquishyPandas

    SquishyPandas Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    I have been keeping hens for about 2 or 3 years now and the youngest I've had are pullets at point of lay, but the other day, one of my Dads customers who keeps hens offered my Dad some live eggs!
    So my Dad was telling me about it, and although the rest of my family don't really like my chickens, they did seem quite in to the idea of having chicks! :D We would probably get about 2, 3 or 4. :)
    So, I have a few questions...

    1) How should I go about preparing for getting the eggs, what should I buy, can you recommend good brands of incubators or anything and some good tips? :)

    2) When the chicks are old enough to live outside in a coop, will I be able to introduce them to my existing flock, or will I have to keep them in a separate house and run?

    3) How long does each stage take? As in how long are they in the egg, how long will they need to live in an incubator, etc...

    Thank you! I just can't wait!!!! :weee
     
  2. Wolftalk

    Wolftalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2011
    The Coop :)
    Heres what I know:
    1.The time period for incubating chicken eggs is 21 days.
    2. The humidity needs to be at 50-55% for the first 18 days then bump it to 60-65% the last 3 days before they hatch.
    3. Once all the chicks have hatched, put them in a Brooder at 90-95f (start dropping the temp, a few degrees a week, for up to 4 weeks.
    4. Build a coop, kick thier fluffy butt out of your house :)
    5. Read as much as you can on here, you will learn so much.
    6. I HIGHLY recromend ordering a Murray McMurray catolog, it has helpfull tips and backgrounds on breed etc. not to mention its fun to look at all the diffrent breeds. But yea. Hope that helped keep us posted :)
     
  3. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Utah
    1) How should I go about preparing for getting the eggs, what should I buy, can you recommend good brands of incubators or anything and some good tips? [​IMG]
    Buy an extra thermometer even if the bator comes with one, along with a sponge and a humidity gauge. (Sponge is for humidity, fill it with water until you get the correct humidity.

    2) When the chicks are old enough to live outside in a coop, will I be able to introduce them to my existing flock, or will I have to keep them in a separate house and run? You can introduce them, just make sure they are old enough so they can hold their own against the flock. Its best to introduce them at night while everyone is groggy ;)

    3) How long does each stage take? As in how long are they in the egg, how long will they need to live in an incubator, etc...
    21 days in the egg, hatching takes a few hours ;) I would leave them in the bator until they dry off and become little fluff balls, then put them in the brooder under the lamp.

    Also I really liked the book "A Guide to a Better Hatching" very informative for first time hatchers. Don't worry and make sure that before you put your eggs in you have your bator correctly running for atleast a week to make sure you get the hang of temps and humidity.
     

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