Icelandics in the Ozarks

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chickbacca, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. Chickbacca

    Chickbacca Just Hatched

    Jun 4, 2016
    Izard County, Arkansas
    So, I live on 25 acres, mostly wooded, in the Arkansas Ozarks, and wanted to have some chickens that would be weather hardy and predator resistent. Looked like the Icelandics would be a pretty good breed for that. I have little to no experience with chickens. Tried to keep a couple Rhode Island Reds last year; but something got them one day. I suspect a dog. Anyway, I'm very new to keeping chickens.

    Borrowed a still-air incubator from a freind at work. I ordered a half-dozen from David Grote in Wisconsin. They shipped to me in early May. They arrived on May 12th, and I put them in the incubator about 6 hours later.

    Since then, I broke many "rules" listed in the egg-hatching tutorials on this site. Did not wait a full day before putting them in the 'bator. Did not allow the 'bator a day to "stabilize," whatever that means. Adjusted the temperature dial whenever I thought it was too hot or too cold. Did not rigidly control humidity - just put a little water in the bottom trays when it looked like it needed it. I DID turn them 3 times a day for the first two weeks, BUT on Day 14, I left home on a day trip and they didn't get turned for about 21 hours. On Day 17 I took my daughter on a camping trip, and the eggs got no attention for more than 24 hours.

    On Day 18, I jacked the humidity up to 65% and closed it for the last time prior to hatch. According to all the guidance I've read, I should have a disastrous hatching experience because I didn't "do it right." Even if I had "done it right," I should only have expected 50% hatch rate with mail-ordered eggs, right?

    Well, guess what.

    Try 75%

    And yes, I DID help several of them widen their pip holes and I DID zip for one of them because it looked like the air sac was weirdly shaped and I wanted to make sure he/she could get out during the day when I was away at work. Apparently, opening the 'bator to help didn't hurt these chicks one bit. I moved them to my $5 Rubbermaid Tote brooder about 12 hours after hatching. That didn't hurt them either.

    As of this writing, my little chicks are 4 days old. I'll be working furiously on my coop this week, now that the rain has stopped for a little bit. I will put some pics of that up when it's done.

    Meanwhile, I posted a note on one of the Icelandic forum threads that reads very similar to this one. And I've attached pics there.

    I'll drop a few here too.

    Happy to be here. Hope someone enjoys looking at these. About how soon will I be able to tell pullet from cockerel?

    Chickbacca............... ROOOAAARRRR!!!





  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - glad that you have joined us. Your experience shows that things don't need to be as "perfect" as we perceive to get results. Thanks for the story and the pics. You should be able to post pics of your chicks once they are 6-7 weeks old on the What Breed or Gender is This? forum.

    You'll find lots of info in the Learning Centre, and if you have a specific topic in mind, just type it in the search box - there's a wealth of information on past and present threads.

    All the best
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Icelandics are very healthy and efficient at free ranging, etc. They are also known to be great escape artists but, don't tell them that. There is a thread for Icelandics, if you care to check it out. Just put that in the search box and it will pop up.

    They also tend to go broody often, you may not need to use an incubator .

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