Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Hatching Season has Begun!


I've been keeping our facebook page up-to-date, but I thought it was time to write a blog post...

We set our first batches of eggs last week!



11 goose eggs and 35 (yes, THIRTY-FIVE) duck eggs.


I candled today, and it's looking like 50% fertility for the goose eggs and 90% for the duck eggs.

That isn't too bad for early season eggs, but it could be better. (I'm sure that has more to do with incubation/handling than breeding/nutrition issues).

We invested in a second incubator, and I'm starting to wish we had a third!


If we bought a third incubator and designated it as a hatcher, I could keep batches of eggs going all of the time, and just move them to third one for hatching.

Hand turning 35 duck eggs three times a day is a bit of a chore, but I was iffy about the automatic turner designed for this model. There were a lot of complaints about the motor heating up and causing temperature spikes.


There isn't much room for turning, so I came up with a system that allows me to turn the eggs efficiently.

I simply remove the upper row, gently roll each row up, and then add back in the final row.



Maybe one day we will invest in a totally automated system, but for now we need to start small.


That said, if all goes well, this will be our largest hatch to date!

We will be ready!

Now that I've filled the incubators, I'm going to have some hatching eggs available for purchase.


Unfortunately, due to import state laws, I cannot ship outside of TN until we are NPIP certified.

The county agent was scheduled to come out yesterday, but he got called away to an avian flu outbreak in Lincoln county. So it will be a few weeks.

Not much to report on house and property improvements, since we're on a very tight budget right now.

We just work on things as we can. Mostly little things. The biggest little accomplishment was tearing down that god-awful basketball net (or what was left of it).


Now I see a great place for a farm sign! 😍

Although the barn could really use a new coat of paint first..........

So while we eagerly await our first hatchlings, we are enjoying the first signs of spring appearing around us.






This will be our first spring at the new homestead, after all!


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