I haven’t posted in a long while!  But we resolved to shut off the internet and cable for at least Spring, and probably Summer as well.   Am I frustrating you all?  😉

It’s been incredibly busy here and I know ya’all want pictures.  Incubation didn’t go well for us.  Apparently when more experienced hatchers say, “Don’t open the lid for the three days around hatching,” they have a reason for it.  Listen carefully.  The reason is H-U-M-I-D-I-T-Y. Very important apparently.   We have five surviving chicks out of our 36 eggs.  It is vitally important to maintain the proper humidity.  We know better now.  We’ll start another round of hatching eggs soon.  In the meantime, we have pictures of the new chicks to share with you as well as pictures of our four little Pekin ducklings.  The ducklings are for Rebecca as she has wanted them forever.  Technically they are a meat breed.  And BOY!  They are messy!

And the ducklings have made friends with the chicks.

duck-meet-chick

The shell has pipped:

pipped-eggs

A little Auracana just after hatching:
hatched-chick

And a bit more fluffy:

 getting-fluffy

I can’t promise I’ll be posting terribly often…  I’m enjoying all of my spare time with the kids these days!  I’m surprised how much time just “checking my email” and whatnot managed to steal from my day….  And pleasantly inspired to have it back.

The hens are laying… Finally!  I had a stern talk to them about the responsibility of the laying hen.  And, I’m not going to lie, the possiblity of chicken soup for useless chickens.  I don’t think I made much of an impact…. But I have eggs and that’s good enough!

 

And Goat Pictures!

Praise is growing up!

Praise is growing up!

Praise

Praise

Heidi is bigger too!

Heidi is bigger too!

Remember when she was little?

Remember when she was little?

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We’re all sick here with the exception of a lucky few, so this is going to be short and sweet…

Went to a farm on Sunday and picked up fertilized eggs.  A variety of colors for a variety of chickens.  They’ll all be cross bred, but I’m not starting with $8-$12/dozen eggs to see if our incubator works!  The neighbors charged me a whopping $1.50 per dozen 🙂  They even threw in a free cat, lol. 

A variety of eggs!

A variety of eggs!

 The intention had been to  make our own incubator.   We went to Lowe’s and tossed the necessary equipment into our cart.  I was pretty excited.  But then we added up the bill and to make the incubator would have cost us approximately $65.  This incubator (a still air Little Giant) was $40.  That sweet and handy husband of mine has intentions of adding a fan to it.  (Old computers ARE good for something!)  For those of you who would really like to make your own, you can find great instructions at the Backyard Chicken Forum here.

Little Giant Still Air Incubator and Sweetest Pea

Little Giant Still Air Incubator and Sweetest Pea

 

Personally if I were going to recommend one, it would probably be the Hovabator brand and NOT this one, but you know what?  It was local and it was cheap and it was there when I had eggs.  Now, that said, we’ll be curious to see what kind of hatch we get…  If I got 50% I’d be happy.  If I  get 2/3 to hatch, I”ll be thrilled!  Honestly, with as many times as the kids have gotten on the table to “just look” if we get two chickens we should be ecstatic.

Eggs!!  In the Incubator!!

Eggs!! In the Incubator!!

This is pretty exciting for me.  It’s supposed to be for school, for the kids, blah, blah, blah.  We all know this is for Mom and that she’s probably the biggest kid of all.  But it’s pretty exciting!  Now, to just remember to turn them 3 times a day.  

For those of you also doing this, check out the University of Nebraska’s Embryology page.  Links to see candling, developing embryos, and more.  For those of you who don’t think you can do this because you can’t keep the chickens, local farmers are MORE than willing to “loan” out the eggs and then take the hens off your hands.  As a matter of fact, you’re doing all the hard work and they’re getting chickens!

*Do you realize sick children do not interrupt?  In here 15 minutes already and nothing…  Yup, that’s how you can tell they’re sick.  Have a good day.