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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Spring is here after a surprisingly tough winter in Southern North Carolina. This means that it is time to hatch eggs. Egg hatching can be like crack for animal lovers. To see a brand new life emerge from a hard oval object is all too fascinating. The magic of it never seems to grow old.

We did hatch some Chinese Painted Quail over the Winter, but it requires a heated barn or a place indoors to hatch and brood chicks. Even adults cannot tolerate the cold, so the temperature must remain above freezing for them.

Now baby chicken season is here. We keep our incubator near the kitchen and brood boxes in the garage. When the chicks are fully feathered, they move to a well sheltered outdoor cage with nesting box.

Our incubator is Hova-bator brand. We bought it new on Ebay. If you look at the website, you will see a few options for these. Ours has a fan and egg turner which is well worth the cost. You can make your money back quickly by selling off some of the birds you make.

Incubator - Clean and ready

Selling off chicks also helps feed the farm. Hatching provides you with new chickens each year.

Establishing the type that you want to raise is a matter of personal preference and need. We don’t raise meat or fighting birds. Egg layers are our focus as well as some ornamental breeds.

Always keep a few hens just for food eggs. There is nothing like a fresh egg. The taste is so much different than the commercially produced kind. We have become quite spoiled in this way.

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