Over the past few weeks we’ve been running a borrowed incubator to hatch some of our Chicken Eggs. I didn’t expect them all to hatch, I knew there would be some that wouldn’t! It seldom happens that they all hatch!
While I’ve been around, handled, and raised, many chickens over the years, this was my first time using an incubator and only my second time seeing Chicks hatch from one!
Honestly there are so many factors that affect the eggs, incubator, incubation, and hatch. Not only do you have the temperature to watch, but the humidity plays a large role. Some people say you need 45-55% Humidity for the first 18 days others say they do what’s called a Dry Hatch with just 30% humidity and in the final few days their humidity only gets around 60% when others say it should be at least 65-75%. So, there are so many factors involved, it’s nearly impossible to have a 100% perfect hatch!
So, I really wasn’t surprised when less than half our eggs hatched! Honestly I expected about 50-60% and we ended up with only about 1/3. It was more than disappointing and what surprised me was the near shock and disappointment I felt! After turning the eggs every 5-8 hours for 18 days, then watching as the little Chicks inside the eggs began to pick (Pipping it’s called) their way out. Sometimes not getting any further! Then watching those that did hatch, while still in the incubator help the others by chirping and picking and helping to encourage their siblings! It’s a very deep, profound, undertaking that is often heart wrenching, and exhilarating, depending on what the outcome is! We had one die after hatching and after being out of the incubator for over a day, and another little one born two days late! The one that died, we noticed was not likely to make it, I took it and held it against my heart, to help warm it and keep it safe, keep it from being trampled, and it lay their on my chest, covered by my hand, as it slipped away!
All of this, has definitely given me a new appreciation for Mother Hen! For all Mothers, and Fathers, who in one way or another experience all these feelings and more!
Now, we have 8 little Chicks! Darling little things, that capture your heart when they look you in the eye! Being born on my Mother-In-Law’s birthday has probably ensured them a place here, without being sold! At least it sounds like a good excuse doesn’t it!? 😉
So, needless to say, we won’t be having Day Old Chicks at this time! Although we may have more Roosters to rehome down the road! One good thing is, we helped bring 9 new lives into the World! Sadly one of them passed! The whole life cycle begins, and hatches before our eyes, and floods our hearts, within a few short weeks! It’s Incredible!
Although we had a low hatch rate, we did have an 85 – 90% Fertility Rate! So, while we don’t have Day Old Chicks to sell You right now, we do have Fertile Hatching Eggs! So, if You want to experience what it is like to experience hatching your own Chicks and discover how profound that can be! However, be warned, You may soon find Yourself at the Risk of Sounding Like a Bird Brain!
We have Fertile Hatching Eggs!
For More Info … Call: 902-907-0770