In a few weeks, we will be picking up new chicks to add to our flock of laying hens. So, what we decided to do is try and hatch a few of our own chicks, just to see if we can do it. If it turns out that our roosters are doing their jobs, and we have fertilized eggs and can get them to hatch, the timing will be perfect.
If any of the eggs hatch, they will be doing so a day or so after we pick up the new chicks. So, we'll be able to integrate them into the new clutch without any difficulty. We've never incubated eggs before, so this will be a very good learning experience for us. In the incubator, we have eggs from four barred rocks, one orpington, and one isa brown.
We didn't have a lot of money to spend on a high-end incubator, but the research we've done lead us to, what we think is, a good compromise between cost and quality. The incubator we chose has a digital thermostat and automatic egg turner. I've been watching them, and the eggs are being turned regularly. It also seems to be maintaining temperature pretty well. We wrapped a towel around it, just so the heater doesn't have to work so hard to maintain the 38 degrees required for proper incubation.
The only thing we need to monitor is the water level in the incubator to maintain humidity. So far, we've only had to add water twice, in the last four days.
In about a week's time, we'll candle the eggs to see if there's any growth inside the egg. Hopefully, we'll have some good news to report.