Friday, April 20, 2012

Hatching Eggs: Day 1

Hubby and I decided that we would like to try a different heritage breed of chicken, and decided on Light Sussex.
This breed is a larger bird (meat potential) that lays brown eggs. They are a white bodied bird with black tail and head/neck feathers, somewhat similar in appearance to the Delawares we had.

We had tried Cornish Crosses but were not impressed with the early deaths we had (even though we followed the special feeding instructions) and the deaths we had in the last weeks before butchering time (chickens that were too heavy/lazy to get up and move).  The meat was fine, but I was not ok with the quality of life and the deaths. I don't believe it was anything we were doing wrong, as we raised Delawares at the same time in the same conditions(minus the special feeding instructions) and had an absolutely healthy flock of Delawares until the stray dogs got to them just before they were old enough to lay...

So anyway, Light Sussex is our current breed of choice.

It was a little difficult finding a source of these birds, as they are more common in the UK than in the US. After a little internet searching, we were able to find a source of hatching eggs at a good price from Survival Seed Sowers. We ordered 2 dozen and received 2 dozen + 1 extra egg. Two eggs didn't make the trip we have a total of 23 eggs in the incubator. I was impressed with the packaging. We have ordered eggs from other places before with more complicated packaging and they didn't fare quite as well!

When we received our eggs on Wednesday of this week, I removed them from the box and allowed them to rest from their journey.  In the meantime, I got the incubator set up and at a consistent temperature between 99.5-102*.

I removed the eggs from their packaging, marked them with a pencil with a "+" on one side and a "-" on the other (hubby later told me it was supposed to be "X" and "O"....*le sigh*) and set them in the Little Giant incubator last night (Thursday). 

We will turn them morning and evening up through day 18, and after that we will leave them alone and the incubator closed until (hopefully) hatching day.

I am hoping this experiment works well!

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