The Hatching Journal

Dear Reader, In my last post I stated I would write the incubation journal of my recent hatching experience.

I will start by saying that this was my first attempt at using an incubator for the hatch. Previously I have always used a broody hen.

Day –8 ~ My jump rope coach(Thanks Abbey!) lends me her incubator to try out.

Day –5 ~ I separate 4 hens with each of my roosters and start collecting the fertilized eggs in a cooler

Day –1 ~ I start reading about and doing research on the process, never having used an incubator before.

Day 0 ~ I fill my incubators’ water trays as full as possible and place my fertilized eggs carefully into the turning device. I closely moniter the temperature until I get it stabilized.

Day 2 ~ I replace the water in the water trays as quickly as possible so as to let out minimal amounts of heat and humidity.

Day 4 ~ I replace the water in the water trays as quickly as possible so as to let out minimal amounts of heat and humidity. (We often have humidity issues here in Arizona.)

Day 5 ~ Repeat.

Day 7 ~ Something happens today! We candle the eggs and discover a 100 percent mortality rate.(Future Post on candling coming.)

Day 8 ~ I fill the water trays.

Day 9 ~ Repeat.

Day 10 ~ Repeat.

Day 11 ~ Repeat.

Day 12 ~ Repeat.

Day 13 ~ Repeat.

Day 14 ~ Repeat. (We should have candled the second time here.)

Day 15 ~ Repeat. (This is getting old isn’t it.)

Day 16 ~ Repeat.

Day 17 ~ We candle the eggs the second time and fill the water trays very full so a refill will not be required until after the hatch.

Day 21 ~ All the eggs should have hatched by now.

Day 22 ~  The first chick hatches. Then the second.

Day 23 ~ Three more chicks hatch and are moved to the brooder where the first two already are.

Day 24 ~  Seven more chicks hatch and are removed.

There you have it. Obviously somewhere along the line an error occurred causing most of my chicks to hatch late. So, I did a little research about what causes late hatches as seen below.

Causes of “draggy” hatch include:

•Improper temperature or humidity conditions

•Storing eggs over a long period of time while collecting enough to fill the incubator

•Combining eggs of different sizes in one hatch

My personal guess is that the temperature and humidity conditions were not ideal because

I confirmed that all of my eggs were fertilized at day 7 and day 17.

But hey, it’s really not that bad considering this my first ever artificial hatch!

So long,

The Green Egg

BUFFET CHICKS

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Incubator Incentives

Well, I’m back.

For those of you who thought, or, think that I abandoned my blog, well, you would be pretty much right if it hadn’t been for…let us say a little parental interference on behalf of me, my blog, and this post. 🙂

 

So, here we go.

Four weeks ago, I borrowed an incubator from a friend, wanting to try my hand at artificial hatching before I purchased one for myself. I discovered a few things that I wouldn’t want on an incubator and a few things that I would want on an incubator.

First off, when purchasing an incubator, if possible always buy one with self turning device. That really makes it way more convenient as you don’t necessarily have to be around three times a day to turn the eggs. Secondly, a really nice thing is a way to fill your humidifying device from the outside of the incubator so as to facilitate minimal releases of humidity and heat. Also a optimal feature, an electronic thermostat helps stabilise temperature and is more reliable than the ether-filled wafer system.

Now, I’m not claiming to be any kind of “hatch expert.” I’ve done this once and came out with a 17 percent hatch rate–pretty darn bad. However, I’ve read a substantial amount on the subject and can give a pretty fair opinion. Oh, another thing, try to stay away from Styrofoam incubators. The Styrofoam tends to harbor bacteria and is harder to clean

On that note, I will conclude this post and wish you luck on your own incubator buying experience–if such is your intention.

 

Coming up, the incubation journal!

Until I write again,

The Green Egg

Ameracauna Chick

Ameracauna Chick

A Chicken Recipe (For Birds with High Tastes Only)

I recently received a suggestion to post a “chicken” recipe and have decided to act on it.

Ingredients:

1 cup of cracked corn

1 cup of sunflower seeds

1 cup of peas

1 1/2 cups of peanut butter

20 grasshoppers without the legs

In a bowl, mix the cracked corn, sunflower seeds, and peas. Stir 1 cup of peanut butter evenly into the bowl of seeds. After spreading the mix into a large pan, slather the top with the rest of the peanut butter. Finish by pressing the grasshoppers into the top.  (If it’s too difficult to do by wing, use a spoon.)

Serves 4;  Enjoy!

The Green Egg

P.S. My chickens love this! (Click to enlarge; you absolutely must!)

Chicken Cook

“My Name is Coconut.”

 

Low on the Pecking Order?

Everyone, at one time or another, has heard the phrase, “low on the pecking order.” Do you know how that saying originated?

If you have ever owned or watched chickens you will notice how some randomly assume authority over others. This behavior can be most easily seen during feeding time when each chicken strives to reach food as soon as possible. Because of that, it is important to ensure that there is plenty of feeder space.

In the near future, I am going to acquire an Ameracauna hen that has been brutally dominating a friend’s flock. Among other things, the Ameracauna was not allowing the others to eat and was pecking them incessantly. That may have been caused by the chickens not having enough space, not having a rooster within the flock, or just a mean-hearted villainous nature.

That is what Cromwell had.  (We name all our roosters after kings or generals.) I think he felt he couldn’t live unless he was killing something. Nearly every day I would hear frantic cries for help from the victims of his barbarous beak-bashing and spur-slashing assaults. Cromwell would actually fly on to you before beginning his ferocious, unrelenting and merciless attack. Eventually, I couldn’t enter the pen unless armed with a base-ball bat–I knocked him senseless twice and I wish I had hit harder. It is true that some breeds are more passive than others, but you can always have an exception like Cromwell.

Sometimes a chicken may have to be isolated if it has injuries; an ill or diseased chicken tries to hide it’s malady because chickens will instinctively not tolerate an ill member in the flock. This is because a sick chickens puts all the others at risk of the same problem.

Two roosters usually can’t be in the same pen together. However, if two rooster chicks grow up together, one will assume dominance, while the other will actually develop more slowly, will not crow, and generally act as a hen until it obtains it’s own flock or is separated.

When introducing a new hen to a flock, consider doing it at night. If you don’t, the hen might receive a hot welcome from the wings (and beaks and spurs and revolvers) of the other chickens.

Click to enlarge.

Chicken Warrior

“I refuse be fried in Kentucky or anywhere else!”

Instead, in the morning, she jumps out of the coop with the others after a good nights rest and everything will seem normal. Soon she will fall into her place on the pecking order, and peace will reign over the flock.

P.S I really need topics to write about, so feel free to comment whatever you want.

Chicken First Aid

Occasionally, circumstances may render it necessary to administer first aid to an ill or injured chicken. A few weeks ago, Puffin, (our polish rooster) tore off one of his claws on the fence. My sister immediately alerted us to his predicament, and we actually used cornstarch, a paper towel and pressure to stem the blood flow. Because we wrapped the toe in gauze afterward, we were obliged to isolate him for a few weeks while the toe healed. I will tell you why in my future pecking order post.

In another instance, our dog was the cause of injury. Peleg is trained now not meddle with the chickens, but she had horribly mangled the back of an unfortunate Ameracauna. Mom, washing out the wound with saline, eventually was able to apply iodine and afterwards a bandage. The chicken fully recovered and ended up incredibly tame.

Although cornstarch was out of the question in an open wound like that, I would recommend adding it to the chicken first aid kit presented below. For a broken toe, pipe cleaners can be shaped into a splint and bound on with gauze. The same method can be used for a broken leg, substituting a popsicle stick in place of pipe cleaner.

Obviously, you don’t wan’t her walking around on the break, so building one of these simple chicken hammocks is a preferable alternative. There are holes in the netting, you just can’t see them.IMG_0681 Also, Remember to supply plenty of food and water while the hen is recuperating.

•Saline-solution wound wash                              •Gauze pads to mop out a cleaned wound

•Tweezers to pick debris out of a wound        •Iodine antiseptic such as Betadine for disinfecting wounds

•A syringe                                                                    •Wound powder, such as cornstarch, to stop bleeding

•Pipe cleaners for splinting                                   •Popsicle or lollipop sticks and/or cardboard for splinting

•Antibiotic ointment, Neosporin, for dry wounds •Rolled gauze to cushion and bind splint

•First aid tape                                                             •Some form of electrolyte powder(you could crush tablets)

•Petroleum jelly to protect comb from freezing•Paper towels for anything

•Old towels to wrap and restrain a chicken      •A clean container to hold everything (maybe a 5-gallon bucket)

Note: in the near future I am going to write a reader’s choice post, so give me a topic if you are so inclined and I’ll do my best to cover it. Thanks!

The Quilt

Some get toys and some get books, but I received The Magnificent Quilt! Made for me by my cousin, this quilt is a masterpiece, isn’t it? Click to enlarge.

IMG_0756

How They Keep Their Cool and Beat the Heat

It has been broiling hot lately. Hot enough to cause fatalities among flocks of friends. Chickens do have a method whereby they lower their body temperature themselves, but in hundred-degree temps, if precautions are not taken, the red cock may crow over your flock. This is what the chicken can do.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA By panting, which replaces warm body air with cooler air, and stretching his wings away from his body, this rooster attempts to maintain a healthy body temperature. Fortunately, there are also things I can do to help my flock weather the weather, such as:

increasing the number of waterers available

putting ice in waterers

providing plenty of shade

lightly spraying adult chickens with water several times a day

Actually, I discovered a even better way to help…..click on image to enlarge.Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 12.52.14