Friday, August 12, 2011

Incubating Time (again)

After literally slow-cooking fourteen of fifteen successfully hatched chicks, I’ll have to admit I’m a little leery of starting up the incubator again.
But if I wanted to time the hatching with the expected delivery date of the Cornish Cross chicks, I had to start saving eggs for hatching.  The gals sometimes only put out four or five eggs a day with this heat.  It also doesn’t help when there is a black snake eating the eggs.  Just five minutes ago I went to the barn to see if there were any more eggs and I caught one just starting to eat an egg.  Normally, I’ve been taking them up the road a couple of miles and release them, but honestly, I’m sick of losing eggs to snakes.  So off with his head.  I still feel a little guilty, but I’ll get over it.  Wiped the snake slobber off the egg and into the incubator it went.
One of Paul’s coworkers provided us with a baker’s dozen hatching eggs yesterday, so I’ve got thirty-eight eggs in there now.
We have room in the coop for thirty birds.  More if you figure in the fact that not all the buggers actually roost on the poles but on / in the nest boxes.  We’re down to twelve hens (I think) and one rooster now.  So I’ll be glad to get the chicken numbers back up again.  We haven’t had too much trouble with predators this year and I’m hoping our luck continues throughout the winter.
One of Christine’s Silky hens croaked a few days ago, not sure from what.  It was just sprawled out the floor of the barn.  Got smooshed by a goat?  Delayed heat-related stress?  So depressed with the current economic situation that it committed suicide?  It was the mother hen.  Luckily the chick is now big enough to make it on his/her own.  Not sure if it’s a him/her yet.  I’m wondering if it’s a female as the Silky rooster hasn’t run it out of the yard yet, but then again, there hasn’t seemed to be any hanky-panky going on between the two of them either.  Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, I’ll be hovering over my incubator and sending good-hatching vibes to the little chickens-to-be.  Hopefully we won’t have another heat wave next month.  And if we do, I’m bringing the chicks inside, no matter how much Paul complains.


  1. Good luck with this hatch.

    I am still thinking about the Cornish Cross. I have to come up with a way to keep them for a couple of weeks without the other chickens disturbing them. Then they could have the outdoor run to themselves.

  2. Snakes are the one thing that gross me and my husband out. I actually think he might be more so than me. Luckily we don't have issues with them much around here. Do your bigger chickens fight off snakes?

  3. Never could work up the gumption to try hatching my own so we just buy day olds. Good luck with your endeavor! As for snakes-Yikes! The lawn mower is my weapon of choice. If I took them down the road, they would just eat my neighbors eggs LOL!

    P.S. the basement makes a good chick hiding place if you can find something that makes enough noise to hide the cheeps-ask me how I know :)

  4. You crack me up.

    Here I am reading along and you throw in a zinger wondering how your chicken dies..."So depressed with the current economic situation that it committed suicide?"


  5. gld, we used several large plastic tubs one year for several weeks. It got crowded, but they lived (well, at least up until butchering day!)

    APG, I'm pretty certain the birds wont fight off the bigger snakes as I've caught a snake practically squirming under a hen for eggs! I've seen chickens eat smaller garter snakes, but not the larger black snakes. Wish they food to boot!

    Hoosier Girl, I did think about the relocating thing, but tried to put them away from any homes. My luck is that someone ELSE is dropping off THEIR snakes down OUR road! So I think a swift chop-to-the-head is how we'll deal with them now.

    tami, I tend to think suicide was the actual cause. Guess I'll have to turn off CNN in the coop at night!