Need advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PaulaJoAnne, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    We have never gone the route of hatching eggs.
    My preference is to have our hens do it, but we have a problem or two.
    Its the dead of an southern Alaskan winter right now ( yes, we do get several hours of daylight per day [​IMG] )
    We have already gone through one 30 below spell, and another is on the way this weekend.
    It tends to stay in the single digits otherwise.

    We have 19, 1 year old Cochins, a Cochin roo, 14 month old RIR, 1 Australorp, and several 2 year old Maran's.
    We want to get away from the cochins, just because of the cost involved with them ( not laying till close to 1 year old for one)
    I have no clue what we would get with a Cochin, RIR cross, let alone any of the other crosses.

    Our coop is slightly heated, just to keep frostbite at bay.
    We do not have any other option for a warm area to let any of the cochins brood a set.
    And no, the house is off limits, unless we have a hospital case.

    What would you all suggest?
    Should we order fertile eggs ( looking at switching to Australorps fully at some point), and incubate this spring, for fall eggs?
    Or, should we just go with whatever mixes we end up with, and make sure no brooding occurs till May?
    And, how should we incubate? By hen? Or bater? Or both?

    My other concern about spring/summer chicks, is the fact that as soon as we head into winter, production drops off, due to our extreme weather, even with lighting the coop.
  2. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2008
    If it were me I'd chance the mixes! My main roo is a cochin and all my babies are great. Mostly crossed with americaunas and leghorn hens. They lay pretty early. If you incubate them yourself, you'll have to brood them in the house where its warm. Or just gets the eggs you want to hatch. Let your hens do it, then they can raise them too!! Good Luck! Gosh!! How can you stand it So cold? Bur!!!
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2007
    PaulaJoAnne... I agree with the mixed breed for now unless you can obtain the Australorps in time to accomplish your goals...numbers of peeps, etc...

    If you are fortunate enough to have all the broody hens you need, then that's not an issue, however going broody for a hen, is like counting chicks before their's a instink and some that go broody, never do again, and some that never did, do later on.

    If numbers of new peeps is a real issue, then the incubator might need to be plugged in. One can control the date of hatch, providing your eggs are fertile, and everything goes well.

    I think you got a real a handle on your situation, eh? [​IMG]

    I'll hopefully convince you what you already know... in my opinion...[​IMG]

    Best Wishes.... ~ bigzio
  4. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Well, I am still wondering about the cold? Is it better to wait till spring?
  5. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009

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