My CRaZy incubator story & Mystery Chic Pics

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cricket-cricket, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. cricket-cricket

    cricket-cricket In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2007
    (Two part thread - skip down to view chicks).

    Part 1

    My story began with my 86 year old mother who was planning to travel 2000 miles to visit our little farmette. In the 50’s, my parents had 140 acres so I’m not sure that our mere 5 acre parcel compared, but she was thrilled. Since mom raised chickens for years, my sentimental plan was to have an egg hatch while she was here. Not only would this be novel after so many years (at 86, it’s the little things) but would also give her a chance to candle an egg, a technique she’d never heard of. She was arriving on the 15th, leaving on the 22nd.

    I had one of those rinky dinky dome incubators. We’d come pretty close to a successful hatch during our practice run in April, so I thought I’d give it one more try. (Mom was so excited!)

    I knew I had to time this just right, so on the 30th of April I drove a few miles after work to a pick up a couple of eggs from a woman who sold fertiles. (We don’t have a roo). Of course Murphy’s Law kicked in. The mini heat-bulb went on the fritz just enough that the best temp I could get was 80 degrees. 8 hours passed as I fiddled with the bulb and strips of Reynolds wrap! I tried everything. Dejected, I was ready to abandon the project altogether…..but somewhere 2000 miles away, I had an awfully excited mom. So - after work on the 1st, I decided to buy a 'REAL' incubator, and by 5:00pm that evening, I was placing an inexpensive styro-foam model in my car.

    Time was running out by now. I NEEDED fertile eggs on the double – but where? That first pair of eggs had been enjoying cool temps for about 24 hours. Half baked, I didn't have much hope for them, but was many miles away from the original seller. Insanely, I drove all around the farming valley in my own community, stopping everywhere, breathlessly explaining my story and asking for last minute chicken eggs. I finally found a chicken farm. The kind farmer (amused, to be sure) was willing to give me two more eggs, but she warned that they were only “MAYBE fertile. She went on to explain that she had 4 roosters and 300 HENS! I drove home in a hurry, quickly read through the directions and popped all four eggs in the new bator – first the by-now-half baked eggs, followed by "the maybe babies", and then crossed my fingers.

    On the 15th, mom arrived. To her delight, for the first time after raising hundreds of chickens, together we candled those eggs. Amazingly, all four eggs were fertile and kicking! (Must be some busy roos at that farm!)

    I don’t know what I did right, (this was my first time) but, right on schedule, 3 of the 4 eggs began hatching on the 21. Mom was overjoyed. We watched and watched those eggs all day. The chicks were healthy and vigorous, in fact, the first little fellow was so rambunctious, he ran around knocking into the other eggs still pipping until we quickly moved him to the brooder!

    Incidentally, and for the record, that bator we bought was a “Little Giant”, no turner, no fan – and no hygrometer, just the thermometer that came in the box. While not upscale, it certainly proved to be a reliable enough model to salvage this project, and at the hands of a beginner at that.

    ...and finally, thanks to all of you who helped with encouragement and advice!

    Part 2, Mystery chicks

    Here are some pictures of the hatch for those of us who can’t get enough chick pics.

    Hatching day! The first to hatch was the little yellow/gray, followed by the darker chick. The 3rd chick and final chick was from the farm of 300 hens!



    Here they are at two weeks:


    The little orange/vanilla sweetheart is from the farm with 300 hens. (This pic shows her a little darker than what her actual color, but she's a creamy orange). The flock of adult hens s are mostly a red or red/tan blotched (and a little scrawny), but not the solid chestnut color of a RIR. My guess is they are some sort of production red (sex link?) which means the vanilla and orange chick could be a throw back to who knows what.

    As for the remaining two from a different breeder, (lighter gray/yellow chick and the darker bird), here’s what we know.

    Dad is a light Brahma. It’s the only roo she had. As for hens, she had light brahmas, silver laced wyndottes, and brown Ameraucanas. (I think these are the only type of hens she had). At first I thought the dark chick was from the wyndotte until I saw pics of black Americauna chick on feathersite – our chick looks like a dead ringer – take a look

    But wait! The fertile eggs I bought were both brown! So this would rule out Americauna, right? As for the gray/yellow chick, I’m thinking light brahma all the way. Any guesses?

    (hope the length of this post didn’t break any rules!)
  2. donnap1967

    donnap1967 Songster

    Mar 15, 2008
    Northern NJ
    I have no guesses as to the breed for you but I just wanted to say that I think you are such a sweet daughter to go through all of that for your Mom. I'm glad it all worked out for you both in the end and your babies are adorable!! [​IMG]
  3. ginbart

    ginbart Crowing

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    i don't know the answer to your question but you had me crying with the first part. [​IMG]

    I loved your story and so glad it all worked out for you.
  4. That black one is identical to the cuckoo marans I hatched this weekend. They come in brown eggs too. Are you sure there weren't any marans on that farm?
    Glad to hear about the lg going so well for you, I did a hatch this week and the genesis was a big success but the lg was a failure. Not one egg hatched and I had to constantly make adjustments to it, the genesis I just left alone and it did the job. I was thinking of trying the lg one more time but hate to lose those eggs. We'll see.
    A great story, its nice to see people be so nice to their moms.[​IMG]
    Congratulations on your new chickies.
  5. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Songster

    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    Aww that was so nice of you to do that for your mom.

    My mom is coming here from NY next week, and I too am hatching chicks for her. She's not 86 tho, only 50 lol. She's never seen a chick hatch, and wants to.

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