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

First incubator run of 2012

Chicken hatching out of an eggLast year, I stumbled through learning to incubate eggs to produce homegrown chicks, so this year I'm ready to put my newfound knowledge into practice.  And to experiment some more, of course.

One thing we learned is to go ahead and start chicks at the right time of year rather than waiting and hoping that a broody hen will decide to sit on some eggs.  I have high hopes that our Cuckoo Marans will feel motherly...eventually...but since the pasture will be at its peak in April, May, and June, I want to have our first chicks struggling out of their shells at the beginning of March.

Incubator spacer

I put 21 eggs in the incubator, which is as many as will fit laying down on their sides for hatch.  Since that left a bit of room when the eggs sit upright for the first 19 days, I added newspaper spacers in the center of the incubator, where hatch rates have historically been lower.

Mark your calendars for fluffy cuteness around March 3!

Our chicken waterer will keep the chicks healthy from day 1.

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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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Very exciting! Is there a post somewhere about what incubator you have? I'd love to learn more.
Comment by Katie Sat Feb 11 12:37:55 2012
My post about chicken incubation questions gives a rundown on the three types I've tried. The short version is that paying more for a Brinsea Octagon 20 Advance is my recommendation.
Comment by anna Sat Feb 11 16:46:54 2012

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