Our First Experience Hatching Chicks

| 3/21/2012 3:56:37 PM

Tags: Rural Life, Rural Living, Country Life, Country Living, Homesteading, Hatching Eggs, Chicks, Incubator, Broody hen, Marie James,

Marie James head shotHere in our corner of the country, snow flurries are flying less frequently and we even have some frost-free mornings. It looks like spring is on its way! Our thoughts are going in two directions: getting the garden started and raising little livestock babies.  

In my planning and plotting, I came across this blog post about our first foray into hatching our own chicks. It was just last year, so this will be our second year. Here’s how I saw it last year - March 2011: 

A new adventure for us this spring is hatching our own chicks. Last year we raised 42 hatchery chicks, most of which were two days old when they arrived. We got that chick-rearing process down pat and decided to go a step farther this year. We bought an incubator.

 FR hatchery chicks

We looked at the calendar to determine when the weather would be conducive to chicks moving outdoors at four weeks of age. Backtracking from there, we decided that a late March hatch date would be just about right. We collected a number of eggs and got them started in the incubator.

The gestation time for chicken eggs is 21 days, but it’s suggested that eggs be “candled” early on to see which ones contain viable embryos. Candling involves shining a light on the egg to show the air cell, blood vessels, and even little chicky eyes. It’s also possible to see the embryos moving around and tiny hearts beating.

marie james
4/5/2012 5:26:05 PM

You're right, we do have a lot in common! I look forward to reading more of your blog.

ronda pauley
4/3/2012 9:38:27 PM

I'm enjoying your blog posts and see several similarities between you and me: the chicks, the seeds starting indoors. We're starting a farm market, our very own! Catch my blog post for more info. www.thepauleyprinciple.blogspot.com

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