It all started with the chickens laying eggs. Our larger breed chickens never go broody and want to hatch their eggs out. So we decided to incubate.
Good science project especially when it is so interesting.
We built our own incubator from an ice chest. It required lots of temperature watching because it fluctuated with the room temperature too much.
But low and behold the fertile eggs developed into little chicks.
We candled the eggs at night and you could see them develop. They went from dots, to a network of veins with a large prominent black dot for the eye, to bouncing around little chicks then to huge dark blobs with little visibility. We don’t have a real candler so we just used a flashlight. By the end we had four eggs that had developed and were ready to hatch.
They went into the real incubator that my son got for his birthday.
Then after a day or two we had pipping.
Little chicks. Three out of four chicks hatched. Which is good even for a broody moma chicken.
Since we had so few chicks we bought a few more babies to add to the brooder. We had wanted some bantam types like Silkies or Frizzles but none were available. So we ended up with six blue and black Cochins, not the little Cochins, but the huge Cochins. Sorta like Silkies on steroids with large feathered legs.
We have one egg still due to hatch in the next few days because it was started late. It was a lone egg because the chickens stopped laying when we got some really cold days.
But we attempted to incubate some eggs that had been in the refrigerator for over two weeks. Some people have had good success with incubating fertile eggs from the grocery store. Several of our older eggs weren’t fertile and I was about ready to dispose of most of them as not having developed but last night I candled one of the refrigerator eggs. There was a bouncing around little chick! If you’ve watched many ultrasound pictures that is exactly what candling eggs is like. This chick had a rhythmic up and down bounce going on. I could have watched it for hours but we can’t leave them out of the incubator for that long.
Who knows my son may actually be able to make some money off of his chicken business after all.
Need some chicks?