JP, you ain`t seen nuthin`yet, I kid you not!!! You will be that chicken addicted dude, smiling. It is an interesting world. I am a member of backyard chickens, but very inactive, mostly read, I belong to another one that I like better and spend a fair amount of time there.
Things have been going bad here with chick incubating and raising, I'll tell that story.....
I had set 15 eggs into an incubator, brand name, Little Giant, that was given to us by my Husband's Cousin. Crap, is all I can say, I don't think I did anything wrong. Well, I don't think that this model of incubator is very good. We went out and invested in a digital thermometer/hygrometer, $29.99, not bad, considering a regular thermometer is around $8 or so.
I tested the temperature where the eggs are on the bottom, 96.4 degrees, put up the legs on the thermostat, and closer to the element it is 99.4 or something like that. Clearly, a massive difference in temperature. I didn't think eggs will hatch at 96.4 degrees. Turned the thermostat all the way up, not much change in temperature, guess it was already turned up nearly as close as it could. The temperature up near the element is 98.5 . No pips, nothing. This is a still egg incubator. With my sportsman, I always have about 90% hatch, sigh.
I won't be using this little giant model again. It will become a brood chamber for the next eggs that I hatch, to keep them warm after birth. And it will have other uses too, so all is not lost, smiling :yahoo:. The turning tray will also be a great place to put eggs for gathering for the next incubation. Guess we never should put all our eggs in one basket eh?
So....guess I am going to get a new "house" incubator, one that holds a fair number of eggs, one that can sit on my counter. BUT....what model, I guess that is the next thing on my studying list. I have been gathering Light Brahma eggs for the next incubation, but now that will have to go on hold for a bit. Christmas is coming, I have children, and if the price is not too high, they will all pitch in and get me a new incubator. They understand my illness, my need to raise baby chicks, smiling. And what better thing than to get something that will make their Mother a happy woman, yay!!! Thank goodness for children.....even though they are all adult and gone away, like, flew the coop, smiling. I had to laugh at my oldest gal. The other day in her daily e-mail to me, she told me I had to control my addiction (chick raising), until we move, then I can raise chicks for the rest of my life. She makes me laugh, she is so matter of fact, always a logical thinking woman. I placated her, told her OK, I'll try (sometimes I tell little white lies, oops, did I say that?). Little does she know...... :evil: ;) :) :) :), she is pitching in on that Brinsea, but she doesn't know it yet, smiling......
The Blue Cochin that was broody was off the nest Monday morning, day 19, only two more days to go, oh bother. The eggs were cold. I thought maybe they were too warm and she had to cool them off. Nope. She, by 12:00 didn't go back on. So I brought the 14 eggs (one had been pecked a hole in, an Astralorpe) so it was not any good. So 13 went into my big incubator, the sportsman. After the failure of the eggs in the styrofoam little giant one last week, wasn't going to try that incubator again. I'll use it for a hatching unit or something, pain in the butt trying to keep temperatures even, even in an evenly heated room, ich. So thanking my lucky stars that I have the big incubator. I will use that only for incubating. It is an older version. No digital command centre, but works very well. Has the thermometer that goes into the side of the cabinet, I control the humudity myself very well. With my new thermometer/hygrometer that is digital, it is even easier. It is tried and true and has hatched out many a good hatch. I wanted that little Brinsea one that holds 24, and still want it for small incubation, but will certainly more than employ the big one. Think the Brinsea runs about $320, that is nothing when you realize how much you can make with purebreed chicks. Hatching really is alot of fun. Keeping my eye open for another old sportsman cabinet style so I can use it for a hatching chamber/brooding chamber. My incubator has three racks. Each rack has three long trays that run the length of the incubator, each tray holds 22 eggs, has a hardware cloth cover over it to hold the eggs in, so each rack holds approximately 66 eggs, dependent upon the size of the egg. Good enough, well over 180 eggs per incubation, should I ever get that many eggs. Or only one rack, or only one tray can also be hatched, anything one wants to do. Think I have posted a picture of this incubator thingy before. I do so like that incubator, and thank my lucky stars that I have it. Anyways, the 13 are due to hatch on Wedsnesday afternoon, which is today, smiling. This is a combination of standard Light Brahma and Blue Cochin and 2 Australorpe. Hope I get some black cochins, so I can breed back to my hens to get all blues. When I have incubated before, it was early spring and we lost power on two different occasions, for many, many hours, the hatch still went well, go figure that. Guess MOther Nature does allow for some mistakes, smiling. Well, well, the days in the life. And do -- have that most beautiful day, with great health. Cindi