They Make Food, So....
This is a food blog. That means that where the food comes from is involved. Growing food and raising food is part of our vernacular.
Recently, I've been deep diving into incubators, problems with incubators, hatching my own eggs, hatching store bought eggs, hatching ebay eggs, hatching the neighbors eggs.
Last year, I pulled out my 2 little incubators from years past and hatched some eggs from a friend to re-start my flock. I didn't have very much money at all and I still wanted a few hens for fresh eggs. It was a great hatch, all but 2 eggs hatched and I only ended up with 3 spare roosters. Beginner's luck?
It had been years since I had tried hatching anything. I had packed away the incubators and left them in the shed because that first try back then did not go well. This year has had similar results to the original attempt. Only 30 to 50 percent hatching rate, if not a complete bust on one group of eggs. I purchased a new incubator thinking that was the issue; nope. Same hatching rate; what am I doing wrong?
I've tried unwashed eggs, washed eggs. Eggs that had just been laid and eggs that were anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks old. Same hatching rate. I've been pretty frustrated and had decided I was just plain over it. I was gonna pack away the incubators and try again next year.
I'm not good at giving up on a thing. I have to try and try at it and pick it apart so I know what is going wrong and how to fix it. This has really been bothering me. I knew the eggs were good, so why all the problems?
I have read and researched and there's some new things to try! So, of course, I ordered some expensive hatching eggs off ebay so I could experiment with those. I ordered from sellers that were highly rated and folks that said they had good hatching rates.
Now we have to get down to the nitty gritty. I've got separate thermometers to place inside the incubators to make sure their own temp reading is correct. Everything is getting disinfected with peroxide. Some folks even dip the eggs in peroxide too! Bacteria seems to be the biggest suspect associated with bad hatch rates.
ERRRRRRP! HOLD UP! Change in plans. My favorite Old-Timer just called, while I was writing this, to find out how the hatching was going. He has been raising birds for decades and knows his shit. I had an entire batch of eggs not hatch the other day and he wanted details. Now he is taking on the ebay eggs to hatch in his big cabinet incubator.
Now I gotta find something else to try and hatch in mine! Ha!
What have you tried to hatch lately? Plans? Eggs? Projects?