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What do you do with the chicks you hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chicken.Lytle, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been reading about incubators, hatching, and how much everybody enjoys it. I would enjoy doing the same, but I do not know if it would be wise.

    How many of you have small backyard flocks? Why to you hatch? What criteria do you use to determine when and what to hatch?

    That chicken math is calling me....
     
  2. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    We started our flock with an incubator and some eggs we purchased on ebay. The hatching experience is the reason for going this route. My 16 year old son and his friends enjoyed it as well. It is a learning experience to say the least.
     
  3. sonjab314

    sonjab314 Constant State of Confusion

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    May 15, 2010
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    I keep some chicks and sell some chicks. I'm getting black austrolorp eggs next week. I am getting a really good deal on them and I plan on selling all of these. I also ordered some Wyandottes that I will hatch and let them grow some. I will keep breeding stock and sell the rest.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    We all have different goals. One of my major goals is to raise chickens to eat. Eggs are also important, but not as important to me as the meat. I also raise replacement layers. Playing with the genetics of crosses is fun too. I don't raise chickens for show or to standards, so I just play with the mutts' colors and patterns.

    How do I choose what to hatch. I keep the largest rooster that has a good attitude. I keep the hens that lay enough hatchable eggs. I had a SS that was just gorgeous but none of her eggs hatched. None. She is no longer with us. In summary, I keep and hatch from the chickens that best meet my goals.

    When do I hatch? I try to time it so that about the time I eat the last chicken in the previous hatch, the last hatch is getting big enough to eat. I do eat almost all the roosteers and any excess pullets. I have a couple of months before I need to start my next hatch.

    Very briefly, that's what I do. You'll have to come up with your own goals and methods.
     
  5. Long Last Farm

    Long Last Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Southern Tier, NY
    This is an interesting thread! I am hoping to get an incubator in early spring, and try my hand at hatching. What has been your experience in selling 3 or 4 day old peeps? I could probably use my birds' eggs to produce hatchery quality EE's, and barnyard "mutts". Is there a market for them on Craig's list, etc? I could only keep a limited number of my own hatches.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  6. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    I am trying to build up my breeding stock so that I can breed some of my own. I grow them out and give away or sell the ones I don't want to keep. Getting rid of excess girls is easy, roos not so much. Most of the boys wind up going to freezer camp. I am overrun with boys that I will not send to freezer camp right now. I need to sell them before I hatch any more to make room for the next batch.
     
  7. Suburban Sprouts

    Suburban Sprouts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Well... I have a "small" backyard flock. I started with PLANS for four hens. Then when I started browsing breeds, I ended up ordering 9. Then, the deeper I got into chickens and the like, the more I learned about interesting "rare" breeds and specific breed crosses which led me to hatch out a very small number of eggs.

    I have to say that the quality of the birds from my hatched eggs is much better - they are better looking, started laying at an earlier age and honestly, the experience was just amazing. You have these eggs sitting there for three weeks and you turn them daily and make sure the humidity is right, but they basically just look like eggs... Then suddenly there's a tiny little puncture in the shell and a day later, fully formed birds come out! It's awesome! Plus, as I said, hatching your own gives you the opportunity to have better quality birds and more interesting breeds than you can get from basic hatchery stock.

    Last time I had 9 eggs in the 'bator. This spring I'm putting in 38! [​IMG]

    It's a great experience and I highly recommend it. The first time I did it, the most nerve-wracking part of it was figuring out what to do with my roosters that I couldn't keep. However, that ended up being not too difficult at all! I found homes for mine through Craig's List - a different posting for each boy with beautiful pictures of what he would look like and a more detailed ad about how they had been hatched from good stock and hand-raised to be fairly friendly. I actually had more people contact me than I had roosters to give away! I sure hope that happens again this year since I'll likely have quite a few roos to deal with after this big batch!

    *Laura
     
  8. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    We do a couple of things: we raise them for ourselves, we sell them and we trade them for other breeds. We live on Whidbey Island where many breeds aren't available or are difficult to get a hold of. Buying eggs online and incubating them is a way to do so. And of course, let's admit straight up, its fun! [​IMG]
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Have you heard of the term "Critical mass?". I am rapidly, deliriously approaching it. I love my colorful and extremely varied flock. I only
    need one or two of each breed I like. Make that "want," not "need."

    I PLAN on hatching only pullets. That doesn't work, but maybe it will, eventually. I keep trying.

    I PLAN on giving away duplicate pullets to local BYCers, when I have extras of the same breed. So far, i've done that once, have promises for three more pullets, and I will keep trying that, too.

    I build/buy/put together more coops for them all.

    I feed them and care for them.

    I listen to them, talk to them, and watch them being chickens (and ducks, got some of those, too).

    Was there something else I was supposed to do with them?
     
  10. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I try to keep a small flock of under 30 (for my husbands sake... he doesn't enjoy them as much as i do). [​IMG]
    I started hatching mostly because the broodies insisted! [​IMG]
    I continued hatching because it's FUN and it costs me nothing. [​IMG]
    I, too, have mutts and enjoy seeing what the combinations come up with. [​IMG]
    I pick and choose, keeping and breeding what I like, both in looks and personality. [​IMG]
    The rest I give to another chicken friend or I take them up to a local Sale Barn. [​IMG]
    I doubt that I will ever use an incubator because I always have a willing broody and it is so much easier that way. [​IMG]
    I do try to get some new blood into the flock every year by either buying just a few day old chicks or fertile eggs at the Sale Barn. [​IMG]
    Did I say ... it's a lotta FUN? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

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