Oops! I forgot to tell you what happened with all those eggs!
Despite a couple mishaps, everything went according to plan:
First mistake: the thermometer I was using at first turned out to be 6 degrees too cool. I only found out about three days in (and then immediately Amazon Primed a replacement thermocouple that I adore!) so the hatching was delayed by a day or so (they develop more slowly when it’s cooler).
Second mistake: three or four days before the hatch I actually dropped one of the eggs, spiderwebbing the end and even drawing a tiny bit of blood from the membrane. Damnit, I thought, and then put it back into the incubator just in case. That chick hatched just fine!
Out of 22 eggs, only 5 didn’t make it. The only sad death was a chick that had fully developed, had even “zipped” a crack along the top of the egg, and then just lacked the strength to push its way out.
Those things happen. Never intervene, They say. Never ever crack open the incubator on hatch day, They say. Well, They can go shove it. After that pointless death I decided to trust my own instincts and helped a couple others with that one final push after they’d been struggling for hours. And look what we got:
Lots and lots of little fuzzies!
They’re in a huge 4′ long Rubbermaid tub right now, but they’re going to need a bigger brooder very soon. In the mean time, they are just loving their new digs. I’m giving them extra edible plants from the greenhouse to nom on, and a plate full of sand that they love to take dust baths in and peck at. They get so excited when I refill it and put it back in, it’s hilarious!
About half of these will turn out to be
dinners roosters; some, I’m raising for a friend; and the remaining 8-10 will become my new layers in about 6 months.