May 28, 2012
We have baby birds! I am so excited because the first eggs that went into the Warmerator hatched. Last year we had an unusually high percentage of eggs that did not hatch so having the first ones hatch is fabulous.
Lets back up a little bit: Over the winter all our birds were all together in the chick-run with the result that the paternity of any particular egg was unknown. My goal for this first incubation cycle was to ensure that only eggs that would produce either pure Rhode Island Reds or Cuckoo Maran X Silver Laced Wyandottes hybrids went into the incubator.
Rhode Island Red Breeding Pen
In March we separated the birds we wanted to breed from into our breeding pens in chick-plex. If we did not isolate the birds we might be incubating unknown crosses of these three breeds.
Cuckoo Maran-Wyandotte Cross Breeding Pen
Then, in mid-April, I started up the Warmerator and ordered new thermometers and hygrometers to measure the temperature and humidity. In addition to keeping track of the eggs, I've been tracking the temperature and humidity so that I know if those factors contribute to egg viability.
The Warmerator provides a warm, humid space for incubation.
After 18 days the eggs get moved from the egg turner on the top shelf to the bottom shelf to rest and get oriented for hatching.
Almost Time to Hatch
Then they start to "pip." This is when the baby bird starts to peck the shell.
Three baby birds!
There are three!
The brooders needed some repair to the electrical elements - last year the birds pecked through the insulation - and with that done, the chicks move into their new home.
Moving to the Brooder