Saturday, March 8, 2014

And We're Off For Year 6 of Chickam!

Twelve eggs were started in the ReptiPro incubator this morning!  The Saturday Chickam broadcast of the adult birds will continue until the hatch begins in 3 weeks, then it'll switch to the baby chicks and be running 24/7 for 8 weeks.

This batch includes three surprise eggs from Bear, our 12 year old Easter Egger Head Hen, who suddenly came back into lay this last week.  Cam, our youngster roo, has been cavorting shamelessly with her and must have triggered the old girl's hormones.  Egg #2 had a tiny hole in the shell which did not penetrate the membrane, so I stuck a bit of masking tape over it and am hoping for the best.  Whether or not any of Bear's eggs hatches will be a crap shoot due to Bear's age.

I'll be turning the eggs 5 times a day for the next three weeks, and will candle the eggs 7-10 days from now to see if chicks have developed...but I know from experience that Bear's eggs are too dark to see through so I won't know until hatch day if anyone is in there or not.  The purple thingy is a toy called a Water Weasel, I stick the probe of the digital thermometer in it--it mimics an egg and doing this gives you an idea of the temperature inside the eggs rather than of the air around them--it's more accurate and makes for a better hatch.  There are also two hygrometers to measure humidity in there, and the shot glass in the bottom holds a bit of water to maintain correct humidity.

Since I also plan on running a staggered hatch and placing a second batch of eggs in one week (you can do that with the ReptiPro), this batch is 'Hatch A' and are marked with a little 'A' at one end of the egg.  I'm hoping to acquire some Bantam Cochin eggs for Hatch B.

This batch also includes one lone Belgian d'Uccle banty egg for comic relief, I'm sure whatever else hatches will be a big honkin' chicken.  I can't reliably state beyond that which eggs came from which hens, although I know that our Giant Cochin girls tend to lay kinda pointed eggs rather than round ones.

Who is responsible for the weird purplish #4 & 5 eggs, I dunno.  I guess we'll see at hatch!

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