The incubator is on…

It’s been a couple of months since our incubator was last used so a thorough clean was in order….there’s no point in spending money on hatching eggs and not making sure you do everything you can to achieve the best hatch rate possible.

Our incubator was a really big purchase for us and we gave a great deal of thought as to whether we really needed it, but we now appreciate what a great piece of kit it is, and it has served us well. All of our ducks and turkeys have been hatched in it as well as huge quantities of Hubbard meat birds, and with surplus birds being sold to other smallholders it has paid us back some of the initial cost.

It is a Brinsea OvaEasy 190 and we opted for the additional humidity pump which makes sure that the conditions inside the incubator are just right 24 hours a day. It has three shelves which are set to tilt and turn the eggs at regular intervals along with a large hatching tray in the base. Over all its about the size of a small fridge and can hold up to 194 eggs at different stages of hatch (by using the hatching tray while other eggs are still turned in the trays above).

So last night after cleaning the incubator and all the associated trays and spacer bars I added water to the pump, checked all of the settings and let it run for a few hours to allow the conditions inside to stabilise…then it was in with some eggs!!!

The pine marten killing many of our favourite chickens last week was a horrible experience but in the wake of it I decided to have a fresh start at developing a little breeding flock (or two) of my favourite breeds. We’ve had mixed results using eggs bought on eBay but unable to source what I was looking for I’m giving it another try. I’ve been successful at winning several batches of White Silkie hatching eggs (both large fowl and bantam) as well as two lots of Lavendar Pekins and having ‘set‘ the first deliveries for a couple of days they were ready to incubate. The remainder of the eggs should arrive between Tuesday and Friday so I reckon I’ll have three hatches over a period of six days.

I can’t wait to see how they turn out. I’ll be candling the first batch in about a week and should know then which eggs are fertile and which can be rejected….fingers crossed!!!