Posts Tagged ‘homemade incubator’

Our Little Flock

Our little flock is growing by leaps and bounds.  Just when we are about to give up on getting any Chantecler chicks they finally start hatching.  First it was Claire on the weekend and then we had two more.  Colin gives them a bit of a hand.  The shell and the egg sack are very hard to break.  We lost one letting it do it itself.  I guess the mother hens must help them along too.

We kept the 2 new ones separate for a couple of days.  I had to put my cooling rack over the incubator.  I came in Tuesday evening to find Figaro (the cat) half in the incubator with a chick in her mouth!!!!  Luckily no harm was done.  Needless to say, both cats spent the night in the cellar as a precaution.

Peep is getting quite the brood out in the summer kitchen.  We now have 10 chicks, 7 Banty hens and 3 Chantecler.  It’s very hard to get a good picture of everyone.  Every time I lift the mesh lid they run and hide.  They are such chickens -ha ha!   In the picture above you can see Henry.  He’s to the right of Peep with his neck stretched up.  You can see his comb starting to come in.  It was funny when Colin put the Chantecler chicks out in the box.  The brand-new 3 day old chicks were larger than the week old Banty chicks.  Every one seems to be getting along.

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Colin and Dad got started at the barley harvest on Saturday.  Dad loves the new combine so much that Colin didn’t get a chance to drive it.

They did a bit of tinkering with it, but the combine did a great job.  Most of the adjustments were because the previous owner combined wheat last.   They have to make adjustments to the combine for every different crop.  Today Colin pulled out his cleaner and cleaned the barley.  Now they can be put away until next spring.

Before we left for the cottage on Sunday, we were watching ‘Peep and the Big Wide World”.  Suddenly we here some ‘peep peep’.  Colin asked if it was the show and I said ‘no, Peep doesn’t actually peep’.  So we checked in the incubator and there was an egg hatching.  We’ve not been able to catch one starting.  This time the egg was a Chantecler!  By the time we got home from the cottage the chick was out and mostly dry.  This morning we moved ‘Claire’ to the box in the summer kitchen with the others.  She is already bigger than the last bunch of chicks.

Today while Ella and I had our afternoon coffee break, Ella heard some more peeping.  None of the eggs are cracked yet, but we did find which ones were peeping.  We should have a few more friends for Claire in a couple days.

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Peep is getting quite a collection of ‘babies’ to take care of.   We have  2 more banty chicks.  They look like twins, their markings are identical.

Colin and Dad were able to get the barn door back up and attached.  It took most of the day, but at least it’s done.

And just a final photo of my Sweeties relaxing.

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New Chick

Hurray!!! We finally have a new chick.  Sorry for the blurry picture, it’s hard to get a chick to hold still  🙂  This is a little Banty chick.  Hopefully we will have some company for this little one soon.  This little one hatched while we were sleeping.  Maybe next time we can get some action pictures.

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We’ve got a few eggs in the incubator.  As you can see there are a mixture of Chantecler and Banty eggs.  Like I mentioned, we don’t have much hope for these ones.  But we will be adding some in the next few days that we know are fresh.  It’s nice and warm in the incubator and I turned the eggs this afternoon.

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We don’t seem to be having any luck letting the chickens hatch their own eggs.  I wonder if maybe it’s because it’s been so cold and dull.  I know last year when I bought the chicks we had to settle for 11 instead of the 25 I wanted.  Even the hatchery was having trouble getting chicks.

So we have decided to make our own incubator and try to hatch some chicks.  We started with a large cardboard box.  Colin lined it with tin foil and then installed a 40w light bulb.  We need to get the temperature up around 100F.

We headed out to the barn and gathered up all the eggs on the floor.  Colin ran interference with the mean rooster so I could do the bending for him  🙂  We’re not sure if we are going to have any luck with these first few eggs.  Since Colin has been laid up, we’re not sure how old the eggs are.  But we will be back in the coop in a few days and gather up some really fresh ones.

Hopefully, in 21 days we will have a box of peeping little chicks.  We’ll then move them to a safe location and let them grow before putting them back in the coop.  Ella’s very excited to see the chicks hatch.

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