Last spring we ordered our first chicks. We got a total of 20 chicks which was a mix of Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Rocks. Now, we are down to eight hens and four roosters from the original twenty. We decided that we wanted to try our hand at breeding them so we could replenish our flock. We bought a Little Giant Still Air incubator but unfortunately it does not come with an egg turner so we had to do that by hand. You can buy an egg turner to go with it so we may have to get that later.
Our first chick hatched a week ago and it has been fairly steady ever since. So far we have 19 chicks total but we have lost four so far. We aren't sure why as they did not exhibit any signs of illness but so far the other chicks seem to be doing fine.
We bred the Rocks first so this is a picture of the very first one starting to make its debut. It takes several hours to a day or so for them to hatch.
If you have never had the opportunity to see a chick hatch, I have to tell you it is one of the coolest things ever! Of course I think seeing any life come into the world is an amazing thing.
So here it is when it first comes out of the egg. Of course they are all wet and have to remain in the incubator for a few hours so they can dry and fluff out before you move them over to the incubator. It takes a little while for them to get their legs under them and they tend to flop around a good bit while they are trying to figure things out. It doesn't take them long though before they are running around all over the place.
And here is the little ball of fluff all dried out. The older chicks are starting to get their feathers now and are getting quite playful. They are attempting to fly and like to try and roost on top of the feeder and water dispenser. Overall I think our first attempt at incubating has been pretty successful...now we just have to wait on the geese!