One of the things on my “To Do” list for the spring is to hatch some chicken eggs.
We have had a chicken flock for some years and have usually purchased chicks that are three days old. We had great luck raising our chickens this way but I’ve always wanted to try hatching eggs.
We don’t have a rooster so our chickens do not lay fertile eggs. There are basically three ways to get eggs for hatching: Talk to your local feed stores or farmers in your area. You might be able to find a local provider on craigslist.com. Search the Internet, you can find eggs from providers all over the country. This would be particularly helpful if you are interested in specialized eggs. There are also poultry related magazines in which large egg suppliers will advertise their products. Finding someone locally is probably the best option, your eggs will be fresher and the eggs won’t have to go through the rigors of shipping.
I have been looking at incubators online and one of the companies that has been very helpful is IncubatorWarehouse.com Not only do they have all the supplies you need to be successful at hatching eggs but they even have videos you can watch. There is a wonderful Information page, which gives you information on what incubator to buy, buying eggs or even building your own incubator.
Bryce Thomas who works at Incubator Warehouse was kind enough to send me several items, which I will need to hatch out my eggs. One of the items is a Incu-Bright Cool Light Egg Candler. One of the most exciting parts of incubating eggs is being able to watch the embryo progress during the various development stages. His Incu-Bright Egg Candler makes this possible by providing and easy and effective way to candle your eggs. There are six super bright, cool LED lights, which illuminate your eggs for easy viewing. The Incu-Bright has recessed bulbs and a rubber egg protector ring to help form a tight seal around the egg. I think it will be fascinating to watch the embryo develop into a chick.
The other item I was sent to review was an IncuTherm Plus Hatch Monitor. Maintaining the correct temperature and humidity are the two biggest factors in achieving a successful hatch. This digital thermometer/hygrometer was developed to help you do just that. The IncuTherm Plus is able to accurately measure and display the temperature and relative humidity at the same time! The probe is placed inside the incubator. By placing it inside the incubator the probe can measure temperature and humidity on the inside of the incubator and display it on the outside. The IncuTherm Plus is also able to store the high and low temperatures.
Eggs have the best hatch rate when stored for no more than 7 days before beginning in incubate. Following the tips on the Incubator Warehouse site will also help me once I have my incubator in place and operating. The incubation period is about 21 days for large fowl and I will have to turn the eggs each day. With the items I received from Incubator Warehouse and an incubator I should have no problem having a successful time of hatching some baby chicks.