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A few week ago, we put some eggs in the incubator. This is our 4th go around of incubating our own chicks and it never gets dull. The kids love candling the eggs to see if they are fertilized and wait with eager anticipation for them to hatch.
The whole process from fertilization to hatching in nothing short of miraculous. It is hard to believe that it only takes 21 days for a chick to hatch from the egg.
This past week they were born, and now we have 15 healthy chicks in the brooder. Nothing says spring like little chicks running around.
Are you thinking about getting chickens or hatching them yourself? Do your research and make sure they are right for you. Here is my post about what it takes to incubate eggs and choosing an incubator.
Of course, you don’t have to incubate eggs. You can mail order chicks, purchase them from the local feed store, or purchase them from your local farmer (like us). Here is a book I recommend for choosing the right bred of chicken for your homestead. We started off with Australorp pullets (hens) and a Black Orpington rooster (Max pictured below with our dairy doe, Dagny). The hope was to get a cross between a good egg laying hen and a good meat chicken. The Orpington was chosen because they are not only a good meat chicken, but also good layers. We chose the Australorps for several reasons. They were good egg layers, friendly, and heavier birds that were less flighty. We have not been disappointed with the crosses. The hens are large and lay daily. The roosters from this cross were not as meaty as we had hoped, but still quite tasty and enough to feed four people for a meal (they were butchered once they started crowing, around 3 months). Really, its the best of both worlds.
In fact, a neighbor stopped by and was so impressed with the size and health of our hens, he wants me to incubate some eggs for him so that he can start raising them himself. We are happy to help.
Are you looking to start raising chickens? We can help. Whether it is building you a coop, providing the chickens, or both, The Chosen Weeds would love to get you started!
Arstralorp/Black Orpington Cross (pullet)
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