The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Counting my chickens before they hatch

Incubator digital displayI'm trying hard not to get my hopes up too high about incubation batch #2, but the stars seem to be aligned this time around.  The temperature control on our new Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance incubator makes our previous incubator look like a toy.  Despite external temperatures near freezing over the weekend and trailer temperatures around 50, the incubator temperature didn't change by more than 0.1 degree!  For the sake of comparison, the Brinsea Mini Advance internal temperature dropped down 5.6 degrees when the trailer temperature plummeted to 40 one night last time around, and the Mini incubator always seemed to be running a bit low even on normal nights.

Weighing eggs to determine weight lossMeanwhile, I've gotten scientific about humidity control in the incubator and am right on track to make the eggs lose 13% of their weight over the incubation period.  (Every time I think about this, I feel like I've enrolled my eggs in a weight loss program --- weight watchers, maybe?)  I'm learning to keep the night-time humidity in the low 40s and the day-time humidity in the upper 40s, and am weighing the tray of eggs every other day to monitor progress.

I'm hoping for 7 living chicks from this batch of 24 eggs, but, secretly, I'm expecting double digits as long as nothing drastic happens in the next two weeks.  Now, if only I could listen to ancient words of wisdom and not count my chickens before they hatch.

Our chicken waterer has kept the first batch of chicks occupied and healthy.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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