The age old question.... Oh, and the eggs are set in the incubator too!

Today is the big day!!!

Start counting down.... we are 21 days from hatching day!

After setting up and calibrating the temp and humidity levels in the incubator, today was the day to set the eggs! I picked our main floor laundry room to house the bator, there are no windows in there and it  keeps a pretty constant temp with no drafts.

That is a digital thermometer you see through the bator  window on the right. It will show min and max temps along with humidity. I'm shooting for 99.5 and 60 - 65% humidity.

This unit has an automatic egg turner! Which is great if you are forgetful like me : )

As you can tell, we have both the lovely blue-ish green eggs from our Americaunas/Easter Eggers and the brown eggs from the brown and black sex-link hens. A total of 25 eggs have gone in for hatching. 

You may notice the temp and humidity readings aren't were they need to be in this picture. That's because I had the cover off to load in the eggs and it cooled off. I'll be checking on them quite often today to make sure it levels off where it needs to be.

I had been setting aside the best eggs for the last week and keeping them in our cool basement until it was time to load them up. 

On the 18th day the incubator will go into Lockdown. Meaning no more egg turning, no opening or peaking, totally hands off.  The humidity will need to be raised to 80 - 85% at the time to keep the chicks healthy as they hatch. 

I'll keep you posted on the progress!

And now what you've all been waiting for.
The answer to that age old question...

"What came first, the chicken or the egg??"

A chicken and an egg are lying in bed. The chicken is
leaning against the headboard smoking a cigarette with a
satisfied smile on its face.
The egg, looking a bit pissed off, grabs the sheet, 
rolls over and snorts, 

"Well, I guess we finally know the answer to THAT question!"


Happy Easter

Lots of things going on here.

Our 3 week old Cornish cross broilers were moved out of their temporary brooder in our pole barn, out into their own shed/shelter and run. It was time, broilers are only cute and fluffy for about a week. Right now they are stinky and ugly. But before that could happen the muscovy ducks had to be evicted from the same shed/coop. So DH made a nice little nesting box for them. Then they were moved into the 10 x 10 fenced area that used to house the rabbits. We sold the rabbits and all the cages a couple of weeks ago after deciding to focus more on poultry. So there was a lot of shuffling going on here, but I think everyone will be staying put for awhile now. At least 5 more weeks anyway, then it's off to freezer camp for the broilers. We will do another batch later in the summer, around August.

I've been saving eggs to hatch for the last week. About half are a beautiful blue from our Ameracauna's. The rest are brown eggs from the brown and black sex-links. DH installed the fan upgrade for the borrowed Little Giant incubator. I'll get that running and calibrate the temperature this week, then the waiting will begin! It'll take 21 days for the eggs to hatch. The surprise will be seeing what we get from the brown eggs having our Ameracauna rooster over the sex-link hens. I'm hoping for some olive-eggers!! This will be our first time incubating and hatching ourselves.

You can see one of our first duck eggs in this picture. It's the middle one, a bit dirty looking even after cleaning it. The muscovies like to lay their eggs in a hole they dug in the ground. It isn't as big as I expected either, about the same as our larger brown eggs. The big difference is on the inside. The yolks are HUGE! Very little white either. They tasted just like a chicken egg to me when fried up for breakfast. Now that they are moved into their permanent pen, I'll let them keep any eggs and see if they'll hatch a clutch. Ducklings would be very welcomed!

I've also been busy starting seeds for this year's garden. Something new for me, but so far so good! DH set up some shelving and lights for me in the basement. Planting trays, starting medium and a heating mat have all been used to get a slew of tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower going so far. I've got more to go so I better get it into gear this week or it won't pay to start them at all.

Our John Deere tractor's loader bucket got a make-over the last week or so. It's back from the shop with a brand new cutting edge and shiny black paint job. (our JD is yellow, their commercial color instead of JD green) It's time to put it to use and get the compost pile turned. Looks like the frost is nearly out of the ground here as well. If we're gonna plant the new garden area there's lots of work to be done getting that ready.

I'll update on that progress soon!


And so it begins...

Whitey - our Ameracauna rooster last summer

The kids and I are headed out to the animal auction in a few minutes. Who would have thought that would be the highlight of the weekend a few years ago. Strange how lives and interests change. I'm much happier to be putting on my barn boots and jacket to go look at animals than I would be going to the mall shopping for the day. Ask me what's on my wish list now and it would be a manure fork, collinear hoe and electric fencing. 

I think I've caught a serious case of what a favorite blogger calls Barnheart. Of which there is no cure, but going to see those animals today might soothe it a bit. 

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