Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Incubating eggs

It is time to add some new chickens to our flock. I have started researching different kinds of chickens and decided that I wanted to add chickens that lay very dark brown and blue and green eggs. There are actually groups dedicated to chickens that lay colorful eggs.

I started searching for varieties of Maren chickens first. These are chickens that lay dark brown eggs. Some people call them chocolate eggers. I intended to buy day old chicks but couldn't find the chicks I wanted so I bought eggs to hatch myself.

We had an incubator with an automatic egg turner from a few years ago when we hatched our own eggs, but that was just to see if we had any "working" roosters. Now I'm trying to actually accomplish something.
Here's the incubator set up. I had to run it for a week to make sure it would keep the right temperature and that the egg turner was working.

So then the eggs arrived and i loaded them into the incubator and all seemed to be going well.

Here's a view through the window.

Now it would just have been too easy to load the eggs in and have everything run smoothly. On day 3 I noticed the turner wasn't working. So I unloaded it and started turning the eggs by hand. No biggie. Then the temperature started getting wacky. One day it spiked up 4 degrees higher than it should have been. I can only hope it didn't fry the little buggers.

We'll soon find out. Today is day 20 and they should hatch tomorrow.

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