Hovabator #1583 (the circulating air model) and also purchased the automatic egg turner and thermometer/hygrometer, for a total of $175. I was very skeptical that it would work - I'd tried to use one of those foam incubators before, with no success (to be fair, I'd been given it for free, it was definitely used (dirty), and it didn't have the fan. It turned out the thermostat didn't work, and even after I replaced it, I couldn't get the unit to keep a constant temperature.) But I still gave her 40 eggs to hatch out, figuring you never know, it might work!
Halfway through the first day, I knew I was hooked, and went on Amazon to order my own incubator. I got the exact same setup she had (why mess with what works?), and as soon as it arrived I started another setting of eggs.
|My daughter added some incubator graffiti when I wasn't looking!|
(I highly recommend Anna Hess' ebook Permaculture Chicken: Incubator Handbook - exactly the information I needed, giving me confidence and peace of mind. Well worth the $2.99!)
On day 19, I removed the turner and set the eggs onto the wire floor, then closed everything back up again. Right on schedule, the first egg began to rock, and soon I saw a tiny hole in one of the shells. Before long, she was pecking a ring around the top of the shell, and her sisters were starting to crack their shells, too. At 11:00 at night I was awakened by the sound of LOUD chirping - the first chick had hatched! 7 more had pipped, and were peeping and wiggling inside their shells. The hatch had officially begun!
It wasn't until about Tuesday, when the "chick high" had faded, that I realized that those 77 adorable little fluffballs would grow into full-sized chickens very quickly. Now where was I going to put them all?!
|My "babies" at three months old, in the new chicken run my husband put up for me|