If you are a chicken breeder, then you should know how to take good care of these animals starting from them being eggs, until then are ready to be paired up with the rest of your flock. To start with the proper breeding, you should be mindful of where you let your chicks stay. So you ask yourself: are they happy with their home? [Read more…]
Hatching your own eggs is a really fun thing to do because there are some great rewards that come along with it. There are a few things that are key to successfully hatching some eggs. Having the proper temperature is perhaps the number one factor that determines if your eggs are going to hatch. Keep [Read more…]
Hatching your own eggs of any kind is a really fun and rewarding experience. No matter if you are incubating ducks, geese, chickens, or anything else, you can take comfort and pride in the fact that you have successfully brought another few creatures into this world. Getting these eggs to hatch isn’t as easy as it [Read more…]
Chicken eggs need to be incubated within 10 days of being laid to make sure that they hatch. If you don’t want to spend too much money on a store bought incubator, you can also make your own for emergency situations. Just follow the steps below to make your own emergency chicken egg incubator. [Read more…]
If you are looking for a great incubator for use at home then you should definitely read our review of the Brinsea Mini Advance hatching Egg Incubator. [Read more…]
Auto Egg Turning – One of the best features of the Brinsea Incubator is that it has an automatic turning feature. Eggs need to be turned several times a day during incubation in order to survive. Not turning the eggs during incubation will result in the death of the embryos and this incubator takes care of that problem for you. [Read more…]
Incubating your own zebra finch eggs is definitely possible. Keep in mind that incubating zebra finch eggs is slightly harder than hatching chicken eggs, but it is definitely doable. You need to follow some tips very closely if you want to have a chance of seeing your zebra finch eggs hatch. Follow the tips listed below and you will be able to [Read more…]
Hatching your own eggs can be a really fun experience, not to mention really rewarding too. Raising your own pets or even having farm animals is a really great experience, especially when you get to be with the animals from start to finish. With an incubator you can pretty much hatch anything that comes in an egg. [Read more…]
Incubators are used for artificially hatching eggs when you don’t have any hens to keep the eggs warm. An incubator re-creates the conditions that are needed to hatch eggs such as warmth, humidity, and ventilation. For the eggs to hatch in an incubator you need to keep the settings on the incubator stable [Read more…]
Great – you’ve picked out your first egg incubator! Now, the real fun part begins. There are a number of other supplies that are helpful when it comes to hatching and raising your new chicks. These supplies are largely the same, whether you’re going to be keeping the chickens as pets and personal egg layers, or if you’ll be using the chickens for meat or reselling. There are three basic categories of extra accessories: Things that may be included with your incubator, supplies for the new chicks, and supplies for the adult chickens (if you’ll be keeping them after they’ve matured).
If you’re looking for an all-in-one hatching kit that’s custom-made for beginners (it’s originally intended for use in a classroom), we recommend the Brinsea Products Complete Incubation Pack. This will give you a complete setup for 7 chicken eggs, including most of the items from this list. It’s a bit more expensive than custom-creating your own setup, but all the work of choosing has already been done for you.
Things that may be included with your incubator
These supplies are generally considered “optional”, and many of the higher-end incubators may come with these pieces included. It is a good idea to have “backups” on hand just in case something goes wrong with the ones included, as well as to prevent human error with your hatching experience.
1. An automatic egg turner
If your incubator didn’t come with an automatic egg turner, or the turner included isn’t the right size for the eggs you have, you may want to invest in a separate egg turner. Make sure you read the product descriptions carefully, as turners for one model are usually not compatible with any other incubators. For best results, search the name of the incubator you picked, along with “automatic egg turner”.
2. An incubator/brooder thermometer
Most commercially-available incubators will come with a thermometer, but it may be better to have at least two, if your incubator isn’t well-insulated. Also, if you’ll be using a separate brooder (which is recommended), you’ll need another thermometer for that area. We recommend this digital thermometer as it will also act as a hygrometer, letting you know what the relative humidity is inside of your incubator.
Baby chicks won’t be ready to go out on their own at first. While they are still young, you’ll need some supplies to make sure they’re well taken care of.
1. A brooder
A brooder is basically a safe, warm place that your chicks will be kept until they’re ready to move to a coop. Ideally, you should have your brooding area set up at least a few days before your chicks arrive – whether you’ll be ordering them online or hatching them yourself. Most people choose to make their own brooder out of a plastic tub and a brooding light. If money is tight, you can choose to use a red heat bulb hung over your brooding box, but be sure that it’s not close enough to melt the plastic or hurt your new chicks.
If you want a complete brooder set-up, the Brinsea Products Larger Brooder/Intensive Care Unit is a bit pricey, but it will fit a large adult chicken in need of extra care, as well as warming newly hatched chicks. The Avianweb Chick Brooder and Enclosure Pack won’t help with adult birds, but it will help keep up to 20 chicken or duck chicks warm and confined. If you already have an enclosure of your own, the EcoGlow 20 Chick Brooder will also keep 20 chicks warm, but it does not come with an enclosure pen.
2. A chick waterer
While you could reasonably use a shallow dish as a waterer for your chicks, this leaves the possibility of it being dumped (if it’s not properly weighted), or will require you to clean and fill it multiple times throughout the day. Hanging bottles are another common option, but you’ll have to teach them how to drink from it, which can be quite a process. We feel that the best choice for a waterer is a gravity-feed waterer with a large capacity. They’ll still have an easy-to-drink-from dish, and you’ll have the satisfaction of only needing to fill it every few days (depending on how many chicks you have, of course).
We recommend the Little Giant 1-Gallon Plastic Poultry Fount. Its easy-to-use gravity feed design minimizes the work on your part by holding a full gallon of water per fill.
3. A chick feeder
As with the waterer, a chick feeder is an “optional” accessory. You could feed your chicks from a dish. But you’ll need to fill it regularly, and they may climb inside and make a mess. A good chick feeder will have multiple holes, so that all your chicks can feed easily at the same time. It should also have a screw-on gravity feed area. It may or may not include the container to hold the “refill” food. We love the Miller Manufacturing 9810 because it’s inexpensive, takes a standard quart-sized mason jar, and has rolled edges to keep your chicks from hurting themselves.
4. Starter feed
From a basic nutritional standpoint, chicks can eat regular chicken feed, usually with no problems. However, starter feed contains extra protein, vitamins, and minerals to help them put on weight and muscle. Not only does this help get your chicks get off to a great start, it’s also not a bad idea to keep some on hand for older chickens, as it can also help if there are specific weight and muscle related problems with a particular chicken, such as after illness or injury. For those interested in eating or reselling their chickens, starter feed is often used to plump adult chickens.
Our favorite starter feed is the Coyote Creek Certified Organic Chick Starter. It is a little expensive (mainly in the shipping department), but this is a 20-lb. bag of starter feed – plenty to last until your chicks grow up. If you would prefer to start with something smaller, a 5-lb. bag of Manna Pro Chick Starter is another high-quality choice, although it is more expensive in the long run.
Adult chicken supplies
If you’ll be keeping your new chicks once they’ve matured into adult chickens, you’ll need a chicken coop, as well as chicken feed (unless you’ll be keeping them on starter feed). The best chicken coops are usually hand-made, although there are commercially-available kits available, too. The chicken feed you choose to use will depend on your budget and your chickens – it’s most important that they’ll actually eat it!