Ready to take the next step

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Oftwife03, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Oftwife03

    Oftwife03 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2016
    Well beginning of this year I started my chicken journey. I have never thought I would enjoy having chickens so much. I now have a lot of friends that want chickens but would rather get them from me the a store. I am looking to get an incubator and was wondering what is a good easy one to start with. Also what is the best way to store my eggs till I am ready to incubate. I just want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I start this project. Is there anything I need to make sure I have on hand when they hatch besides some chick starter and should it be medicated? I am open to any advice to make sure I can do this right. Thank you so much!!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    As for incubator, I'd suggest you look at your budget, and then do some reviews, ask folks what they think of the models you are looking at. I've built my own with hubby's help for electrical. That is an other option for you. The wiring is not too difficult. There are a lot of tutorials out there. Look at Rush Lane Poultry for some videos.

    Your choice re: medicated or not. I choose to not medicate, and work on building immunity through natural means: mainly giving them early access to my soil, and giving fermented feed. Don't let any one tell you that you must use medicated, or for that matter, that you SHOULD NOT use medicated. It is your choice. Do the homework, and make your own decision.

    I highly recommend that you have Poultry Nutri-Drench on hand and use it for the first week with your chicks. I also use it with my layers before I start to collect hatching eggs. Do everything in your power to be sure your layers and your roo have excellent nutrition in the weeks leading up to collecting eggs: plenty of protein, access to greens. I use fermented feed. That helps with nutrition also.

    Do all of your homework re: incubation methods: low humidity through day 18, then increase to 65-75% thereafter. Read the literature in the learning center. I brush up on that before every hatch. Do a review re: assisted hatch, and before you are faced with the issue, decide where your husbandry philosophy falls regarding that matter. IMO, one should never plug in an incubator until they have thoroughly educated themselves re: hatching methods.

    Be sure your thermometers (yes, plural) and hygrometer are calibrated. Run that bator for several days, if not a week with water bottles to = the volume of eggs you will be incubating to familiarize yourself with it's quirks, and be sure you know where the warm and cool spots are in it. Even forced air bators may have temp fluctuation.

    Have an exit plan for roos. Never hatch an egg unless you are capable of culling any chicks that may need to be culled.

    Enjoy. IMO, watching the development of a chick: (fresh egg to hatch, and beyond) is one of the greatest joys of having birds. It's absolutely amazing to peer into an egg and watch that chicklet dancing in there! Such a miracle to hold in the hand and observe!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  3. Oftwife03

    Oftwife03 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much. I read a lot of the stuff on here and have been researching it. It will probably be 3 months before I am ready but I am trying to learn as much as possible before I start. I could probably get my husband to build me one. He is pretty good with his hands. I will go see what I can find on those. I never in my life thought I would turn in to the crazy chicken lady but I think I will own that title well. lol I really have enjoyed watching my girls grow. We culled our rooster a few months ago do to his attitude. We have a beautiful sweet boy now. Are there any breeds you shouldn't mix. I know most of mine are sex links. I also have 2 easter eggers. Not 100% sure what my rooster is.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    My personal preference is to stay away from the birds that have poufy hair do's and feathered feet. I'd also not add bantams/silkies to a LF flock, but there are those who do without problems. Check out Henderson's chicken breeds chart. Your location should enter into your breed choice. Generally, the colder the climate, the more important it is to have breeds with small combs.
     

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