Gonna Be Makin’ Babies

We decided that to be more self-sufficient with our chicken flock it made sense to hatch our own chicks for both meat and eggs instead of having to order them from hatcheries whenever we needed new ones.  It is also a good way to help keep the flock healthy by not risking importing potential illnesses.  At some point it will be fun to let the hens do the work by sitting on the eggs, but that entails having separate quiet areas for them to be and because  we still have to work for a living we can’t give them the attention they need.  SO, our new incubator arrived last week!  It is a Brinsea Octagon 20.  It has all the bells and whistles (literally).  While we haven’t set it all up yet, it appears that one pretty much plugs it in, waits for it to stabilize the temperature and humidity, adds the eggs and wait 21 days.  We will raise replacements for the layer flock as we need to (egg production drops off after the hens get to be about 2 years old).  About twice a year we will raise a batch to put in the freezer.

Along with it we have gotten in place the processing equipment for chicken processing.  As my memories of chicken plucking are smelly, wet, and sticky, we ordered the latest and greatest plucker.  We got the machine from CConly and it alleges to pluck a bird in 10 to 30 seconds.  Works for me.  So while this is not meant to make my vegan friends cringe, we consider ourselves “Mostly-Terrian”.  We still enjoy meat and eggs.  At least anything we put in the oven will have been raised and processed by our own hands.  Desperately few of us can say that anymore.  Ours is the EZ 131:

 

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Here is the incubator:

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