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Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Project

We're celebrating our New Year's Eve by starting a batch of eggs in our new Brinsea incubator! Five Marans, five Light Brahmas, six Ameraucanas and four White Leghorns. 

The first three breeds came from a local breeder and we picked those up in person today. The White Leghorns were shipped in from another breeder and unfortunately of the seven eggs they sent, three were smashed in transit. We're hoping the four left in tact weren't jostled around too much and that they survive. (At the last minute we popped in an egg that our Black Copper Marans hen laid today. We don't know if it is fertilized yet but we'll see...)

Our incubator is being kept at 99.7 degrees F and we're working to get the humidity to settle between 40-50%. Pretty much that is the extent of what we'll be doing with the incubator this week since it is on a cradle that keeps it slowly rocking back and forth (so we dont have to rotate the eggs ourselves). We will "candle" them in a week to see if we can start sorting out which are developing. Candling just means we will be shining a small bright light through the eggs to see if we can point out shadows of developing chicks inside.

Putting 21 eggs in the incubator doesnt mean we will have 21 chicks popping out. You have to factor in the fertility rate, which we don't know yet until we can candle them next week, and the fact that they may be 50/50 males and females, and we really only have interest in the females. It's all a waiting game to see what we end up with. We'll be documenting the progress here until the predicted hatch date (Saturday Jan 21).

Happy New Year!

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