Sunday, May 3, 2009

Once More Into The Breach!

Into the incubators, actually. AND hens! Since we've got about 6 of the girls who have gone broody (the coop is a Terror Zone for the other chickens, who dash in, lay their eggs and LEAVE), I've set 5 eggs each under Moet, who has raised chicks before and is an excellent mama and Zevon/Splash--two sisters who are brooding together and get along well. Splash and Zevon have peacefully divided up their 5 eggs--Splash has three, Zevon has 2. Moet is a Frizzle buff Cochin, Zevon is a Frizzle Cochin mix and Splash is a nice large, plump bantam of mixed heritage. These eggs will be my test--if the hens can't hatch them either, I'll know it's not my incubators or me who is at fault. I know a lot of our girls are older, so it could be affecting the hatch--but then we've got a lot of young girls, too. It's a mystery...

In the two incubators, we've drastically cut the number of eggs and will have only 20 eggs in each one. Each set of eggs is numbered 1-20 and marked with an X on one side and an O on the other, in order to track which ones have been turned. They'll get turned at least three times a day. The new incubator has been upgraded with a forced-air fan to better circulate the air around the eggs, the old incubator has a new thermostat. I'm also going with leaving all the red ventilation plugs in on both incubators in hopes of raising the humidity, which has been a real bear to get and keep to where it is supposed to be.

We'll start the eggs at 6PM tonight, which should give us a hatch date of 5-23-09--the day before Memorial Day!

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