Today we have started a fun and exciting countdown. In 21 days baby chicks will be hatching at our house! We are all so excited to be able to see them actually hatch.
This is our first time ever using an incubator. Our goal is to eventually have broody hens do our hatching, but that takes broody hens, and thus far our gals have no inclination in that direction. So we will be using an incubator when necessary for our chicken breeding purposes.
This is somewhat of a “trial” hatch. It came about in a strange way, which is way too long of a story to share. But the end result is that the incubator is holding 7 Dark Brahma eggs for our flock, as well as 5 crossed eggs from our friends’ flock. These friends don’t have a breeding group separated out and have one rooster covering 20 hens, so there is likely very low fertility to their eggs. But they wanted to find out if any of the eggs are actually fertile and possibly get some extra chicks for their flock in the process. There was plenty of space in the incubator, so we of course were willing to put some of theirs in for them.
I’ve had the incubator set up since Sunday evening, adjusting it and trying to get it just the right temperature and humidity. I put some test eggs in there Sunday that weren’t good anymore (long story as to why that happened as well) just to be sure it was rotating them right and all. In the above picture I haven’t taken out the dummy eggs yet. The two triangles directly across from each other are the hatching eggs, the triangle of all solid brown eggs and the white one are the trial eggs and are coming out.
We looked at many incubators online and researched what people are using and ended up buying this one at our local feed store. It is the THI30 Top Hatch by Brower. We hope that it will work well for us. I really like that you can hatch any number of eggs as long as each triangle you use is full. So you could do anywhere from 6 – 48 standard chicken eggs in it, as long as the triangles in use are full. You don’t have to fill the whole thing with dummy eggs to keep the heat. I had heard that many incubators had to be filled with dummy eggs if you weren’t hatching enough eggs to fill the whole incubator. I also like that the parts are dishwasher safe. I feel like we can easily get it very clean between hatches since it has plastic parts as opposed to styrofoam. Again, we’ve never done this before, so we will see if this one was a good choice.
In about 5 days we will candle the eggs to look for fertility.
Let the countdown begin!