Incubator? Talk me down...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by salunra, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. salunra

    salunra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    So.... I have never kept chickens before. My almost 5 yr old has become obsessed with chickens, and I think it must be contagious because I have gotten the bug.
    When he was around 2 he went through am egg and nest obsession. Every time we would do craft projects, he would make a nest and then collect random things to be his eggs. He would take his nests everywhere, and if we left them at home we had to wrap them up in a blanket so they would stay warm. He's doing chicken coloring sheets now.

    Anyhow.... the point of my post is, I had been thinking about getting some day old chicks from MPC in the spring. It seems like such a no fuss way to get started. But all the beautiful birds I see are tempting me to start with hatching eggs instead.

    I know this is completely the wrong place to go for this, but I need someone to talk me out of getting an incubator [​IMG] I don't need to spend more money when I don't even know how well we will click with keeping chickens and I also do not need a ton of extra chickens. But the breeder quality bantams especially tempt me so much.

  2. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    This is absolutely the wrong place to be asked to talk down.

    I just got an octagon 20, 99$ with a 10% off coupon...

    But I'm going to wait until spring to put anything in it. I hope.

    However it might be a good idea to start with some day old chicks first and see how your obsession grows from there.
  3. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Can't talk you down from something that is so much fun.

    If you want to start with hatching that will be the hardest part for you to learn about chickens. Starting with day olds from a hatchery is a really great way to start and even getting older birds and learning from there and working your way back to hatching some next year is also great.

    No matter what you decide, make sue you have the room because they are addictive. More so than dogs or cats or even kids! Chickens give so much in return and there are so many wonderful breeds and colors they are more like Lays potato chips than the chips are!!!! You can't have just one little will always want more. Another one of this or that.

    Research as much as you can, buy what you need to get started and enjoy![​IMG]
  4. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Welcome Newbie! Day old sexed are probably your best bet unless you want lots of Roos. [​IMG] If you really have your mind set on it you have to realize that the Roos are hard to get rid of and unless you want to learn how to kill and eviserate them for your own table it just doesn't make sense. Do you want cute little babies that grow up to produce food for you , or do you want to be a farmer and put meat on your table? [​IMG]

    The stores are flooded with sexed females in the spring, and they are just as fun and a lot less of a letdown. [​IMG]
  5. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Yes this is the wrong place to look if you are wanting to be talked down from buying an incubator! [​IMG] I think starting with chicks is a good idea though. I just started keeping chickens this year and I am soooo surprised at how addicting they are! I just wanted to get a couple of pullets to have eggs. Now I have seven pullets and a rooster and an incubator and I look at egg auctions and contact breeders about hatching eggs! All I can say is build your coop a LOT bigger than you need. I am on my third coop and when we finished building the first one, my first thought was, it is way too small for all the other chickens I want now! [​IMG] Definitely find out how many you can have on your property too. Always nice to know you are not a chicken outlaw! I think you and your son will enjoy having chickens sooo much! [​IMG]
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Well, let's see what i can do. I love to incubate eggs and increase my flock, but ...

    If you're going to incubate, it is really more profitable ... or maybe a surer thing if you're incubating eggs you get from your own chickens, or locally. Folks have a lot of losses with shipped eggs, and especially since you're a newbie, you might not want to experiment on such expensive eggs.

    I suggest you order a few chicks (and i would personally go ahead and get them now, but that's just me). Chicks are more likely to survive shipping than shipped eggs. Then you and your sweet five-year-old have fewer heart-breaks starting out.

    Also, then once you're getting the hang of chickens and can make a rational decision, you can decide if you want to invest in an incubator (i don't know about you, but we don't really throw money around at my house, even just 60 or 100 dollars). I would also suggest for your first hatch or two that you see if you can work a deal with someone close to you to incubate some not-quite-so-valuable eggs as practice - and maybe you can work it out to give the chicks back to them if you don't want their mutts or large breeds or whatever.

    Seriously, starting out, i really do suggest ordering live chicks.

    How did i do? Did i talk you out of it? Or delay the obsession?

    P.S. I love incubating eggs, and i have had to put myself on a reasonable schedule so that i don't incubate us out of house and home. Twenty-four new chickens every 3 weeks is a bit much.
  7. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    At my house, incubator=divorce so it's easy for me....well right now anyway, things could change [​IMG]

    Reading through alot of posts it seems successful hatches are rare and an aquired skill, so many things to go wrong in the 3 weeks. Many people are happy that one out of maybe 12 eggs actually hatched! Perhaps that could be very difficult for a youngster to understand and handling the disappointment after weeks of anticipation could be rough. I'm thinking chicks would be a better bet for now. Selecting his very own chicks from a feed store in the spring could be very fun! AND what to do with all those roo's if you hatch your own??? Plus IMO an incubator doesn't look much like a nest anyway.[​IMG]

    Editted to say........the post that appeared above mine (written while I was writing mine) says JUST want I'm trying to say only LOTS better [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Incubators aren't cheap and are difficult to manage -- just read in this section a while to see how much trouble people have with them. I won't fool with them, but many do.Y

    Two things you need before you get chickens: a coop, and a plan for roos.

    If you buy young female chicks, you may still get a roo now and then. Hatching of course means around 50% roos. Are you going to eat them? The world is full of extra roos.

    It always amazes me how many people buy chicks then start thinking about a coop. The result can easily be an inadequate coop with too little ventilation and space, because they didn't take the time to figure out what they really needed.

    I also won't raise chicks in the house again, and many on here agree with this. An outdoor brooder takes more planning, unless you start with a coop and a broody with chicks. (If you happen to have a source, that would be a great way to do it.)

    Great opportunity for your little one to get an idea of the planning involved.
  9. salunra

    salunra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    We have 5 acres of land in rural Indiana. There are probably 5 homes over the closest 200 acres. We have a cow farm behind us, and the old farmer around the corner used to raise laying chickens. I am not worried about legal issues.

    My husband is going to build an 8x10 coop for me which should allow space for a fair number of chickens, and I have a 1/2 acre area I would like to enclose for a super run. It is over our leach field, so cant do much else with it.

    My trouble right now is that winter is coming on and so instead of just getting the coop built and getting some chicks, I have too much time to browse and think. I dont mind getting hatchery egg layers. But I wanted to get a few bantams as well, and the variance of quality between the breeder birds vs the hatchery birds is just so huge.

    I just need to step away from the computer [​IMG]
  10. pixy

    pixy Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2010
    My son (2 1/2) is obsessesed with chickens since my parents got chickens last fall. Since then it has been non-stop "Shickens!" We started by visiting the petting zoo and that wasn't enough, my parents farm is 3 hours away so visiting them all the time is out. We ended up adopting 4 sweet hens from a 4H family, they are great, eat out of our hands and lay enough eggs for my son to enjoy collecting them. He really got into taking care of his girls, he lets them out in the morning, collects the eggs, helps refill thier food and water. Since he has been so good with them we ordered 26 baby chicks from McMurray, they arrived yesterday and he is a little too eager to help, he loves his little "Shicks" and sits and watches them and offers them food. I am sure once we raise this batch of chicks we will attempt hatching our own but this is enough to handle at this time for us. I knew nothing about chickens last month, now we have 30 of them. Although I love the idea of hatching my own I just think that waiting for hatch day is just too much for my boys at this age, a 5 year old might be more patient.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010

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