Tuesday was a big day for us. Actually, let me back up a bit. When we decided that we were going to move to New Hampshire and, among other things, try our hand at farming, Brother John started trolling Craigslist for us. One of the ads he sent our way was for a cabinet incubator (holds something like 300 chicken eggs), an electric scalder, and a brooder. I was actually only interested in the scalder (we’re talking turkey-sized, people!), but it was a package deal at a ridiculously low price. Brother John and his brother the Champion Snorer went and checked them out for us, declared it an excellent deal AND talked the guy into selling some beehives.
So now we had this incubator. Our options were to use it as a funky end-table or attempt some hatching. Since we need chickens we decided to go with the hatching option and put our first dozen in at the end of June.
Since the incubator had been sitting in a barn for awhile we weren’t sure of our hatching rate so we set two more batches. And then we were given a dozen Barred Rock eggs and a dozen Ameraucana eggs (thank you Lee & Cindy!).
So we set those, which brought us to 52 eggs. And then I may have set another dozen….
Anyway…Back to Tuesday. Tuesday was Batch #1’s hatch day. This egg happened to be in the front so the first one I noticed, but I think it was actually the third to hatch.
Below is actually the first chick to pop out. And it was a naughty chick. I intended to keep new chicks in the incubator for 12 to 24 hours. This chick insisted in hopping out of the tray to the back of the incubator and then screaming bloody murder. After the second rescue I pulled it out and put it in the bin.
We ended up with eight out of the first dozen. Which is higher than what we predicted our hatch rate to be.
The above is the egg from the first picture. We have video of the hatch on our Facebook page…
We think we have four Old English chicks, three Sumatra chicks, and one Sumatra/Bantam Cochin cross (that should be an interesting chicken). Tomorrow is the next hatch day so make sure to check back for news on The Peepers…The New Batch!!