Our hatch is complete! It went well, we hatched 23 chicks from our incubators and there were 5 chicks we bought (but one died) for a grand total of 27 chicks in the brooder right now. The variety in coloring is awesome and fun. Some are colors I have never seen before. We also had a nice mix of feathered legs and clean legs. Here is a sampling of the colorful cuteness we have:
We are excited to see how these colors end up in the mature adults. I have never seen a yellow baby with black stripes, nor that one that has an orange head and blue/grey body. Fun!
So here are the stats of this hatch, as well as all the successful ones thus far. I will be posting specifics about our incubator comparison soon.
Hatch #2 of 2014 (the one we just completed)
- Fertility: 87%
- Hatch of Fertile: 51%
Hatch #1 of 2014 (had humidity issues with this one)
- Fertility: 88%
- Hatch of Fertile: 37%
Hatch under Broody Hen, Banana – 2014
- Fertility: 80%
- Hatch of Fertile: 63%
- Fertility: 96%
- Hatch of Fertile: 52%
Our numbers are still lower than we hear of other people getting, but we are happy with them and have learned a lot about how to keep them up as high as possible. We are fighting against a very dry climate, and the decreased oxygen at high altitude and have found that both those factors can definitely cause issues with hatching. But we are also learning that some chickens lay eggs that just hatch better at altitude than others and are more tolerant of the dryness and less oxygen. So as we continue with our selection of breeders and our breeding program, we should see an increase in our hatch rates because we are selecting the birds that hatch better in our climate. Which goes along with exactly why we are doing this breeding program – to have chickens that thrive in our area.
As you can see, a broody hen does much better than us, so we are hopeful to have more and more of those doing the hatching and raising for us. We are currently planning more broody hen nesting areas so that we can have more than one brooding at the same time in a set-up ideal for chicks. And Eve, our white silkie hen, has been glued to a nest the last few days, so we are hopeful that she will be brooding a clutch very soon.
Well, I’m off to watch the adorable chicks for a while!