So we are on to another adventure, hatching chicks. We were fortunate to pick up 13 fertilized eggs today ( thanks Julianna) with another 35ish to come. They are a mixed breed of a Black Australorp roo and Rhode Island Red hens, both good dual purpose heritage breeds. A small batch to start with as our first try.
We picked up a new Hova Bator incubator at our local co-op country store, on sale, after looking into making one. For a very small difference in dollars we opted to buy the real deal. Still keeping it simple and turning the eggs ourselves, three times a day. A neat little game of X and O written in pencil on opposite sides of the eggs to ensure each is turned.
In 21 days we should have a few chicks, if everything goes well. We have the heat at a steady 100 degrees with water in the lower tray to maintain humidity. The goal is to over winter a breeding /egg laying flock of 10 hens and one or two roosters from different lines. We want to breed our own meat chickens next season instead of relying on feed store chickens that are genetically modified for fast growth (not capable of living past about 10-12 weeks without health problems or death, but still tasty).
There is a local poultry group, Maritime Breeders and Exhibitors of Purebred Poultry and Waterfowl (fb), with a show happening May 21 that we are anxiously awaiting. We are starting to write down all sorts of questions to ask while we search for the one or two roosters we want.
A new daily routine for 21 days which will lead to the next level of homesteading on our .69 of an acre.
Updates to follow.