Sunday, 26 February 2012

Starting to Incubate Chicken Eggs

2011~ As you may know, our daughter Kate has a laying hen operation of 25 brown ISA sex-link 1 rooster, a Buff Orpington, "Cornpops".  We have been wanting to try our hand at incubating some eggs and pray for a good outcome of some
 fluffy little chicks.
We saved eggs for a few days, making sure they didn't get chilled and picking only the nicest, cleanest eggs we had.  We did not wash them, as that could remove their natural protection.   Nana read that the rounder eggs are hens, the pointy ones are roosters.  We had a hard time telling, so maybe they will all be roosters and end up in the roasting pan! This is a bit of an "old wives tales" but we thought ~ why not?
Here the girls are marking a "X" and "O" on opposite sides for ease of turning.

Empty incubator borrowed from a friend.  The little 60 w. chandelier bulb is attached to a sensor and if it gets too hot, the light dims or goes off for awhile.  There is also a little fan below and a little trough for some water to keep the humidity around 50% for the first while.  The little dividers keep eggs separated and then I just turn the whole base a little and they rotate.  We bought a thermometer with an added humidity check.  We check to make sure an X is up 1 night, then O the next.

Adding eggs to the incubator.  I had plugged the incubator in for a day as trial beforehand, but it took me 3 more days to get the heat even.  I thought I may have cooked the poor the little eggs the first day, but being at 100-101 for a few hours didn't seem to
affect them.

We started March 17, 2011 and as of March 22nd, I tested 3 eggs by shining a flashlight under them in a dark room....they have something floating around in them!  A little black spot, then a tail (spine?) and some stringy looking things. 
We are praying the bother is worth it in the end~  What a great homeschool project! 
Hubby made a little enclosure for the little chicks to keep warm in and we will take some photos of that later and keep you updated.

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