* For hatching we collect eggs when the temperatures are milder so that the eggs are not overly chilled. We usually hatch our eggs in very early spring.
* We do not wash the eggs once collected. Eggs have a natural coating that help to protect them and we do not want to wash that off. Eggs are then stored in cartons and rotated once a day to keep the air pocket at the top of the egg. The top of the egg is the large end of the egg. Do not refrigerate the eggs you wish to hatch. Do not keep your eggs over 14 days. After that if they hatch they tend to be weaker.
* Once the eggs are set in the incubator they must continue to be turned once a day to maintain that air pocket. Many incubators have an automatic turner that rotates these eggs for you. If not simply running your hand over the eggs lightly is enough to rotate the eggs .
* Stop turning the eggs two to three days before they are scheduled to hatch.
* Once your chicks hatch they must be placed under lights to stay warm. Do not put chicks on a slick surface such as newspaper or plastic. This will cause foot problems later.
* I put marbles in my waterer ( above ) so that the little chicks can not drown in the waterer but can still drink. These too can be removed in about a week.
* I also boil eggs and chop up for the first few days to give my chicks extra protein. Try dropping a few shiny dimes in a shallow dish. They will peck at shiny things and it will help them start to peck and feed.
It seems like it just would not be spring without a few fluffy yellow chicks around.
Anyone else out there have any shortcuts or tricks for raising baby chicks?
But my ultimate favorite way to grow chicks.............
Let the Mama Hen Do It !!
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter