Sunday, February 24, 2013

What to Do After the Chickens Hatch

The Broody Lady Rah Rah                         Credit: Shobe Biz Communications

My Farm Innovators Model 4200 Incubator just arrived! This is my first foray into hatching chicks in an incubator. The eggs will be shipped next week from Chicken Scratch Poultry and will be a mix of Olive Egger, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, French Black Copper Marans, and Welsummer fertilized eggs. I'm going for the different colored eggs this year for photographic and innovation reasons.

Since this is my first time incubating eggs, I thought I should bone up on some research. Travis Kellar of The Sentinel (Pennyslvania) wrote an informative article How to Raise Baby Chickens After Hatching. The Chickens should not be removed from the incubator until 48 hours after hatch. The brooder needs to be kept at 95 degrees and the temperature should be reduced five degrees for every successive week.

For the last several years, I have used a 250-watt heat lamp in the chicks brooder. For the brooder, I found a large wooden box and created a lid for it out of a wooden frame and avian wire.  In the chicks water, I put a few drops of apple cider vinegar and feed them yogurt to help them avoid pasty butt.

Who doesn't enjoy raising baby chicks? Now, it's time to try something new. I can't wait to see how the incubator works and how many chicks successfully peck their way into their new home!

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