CHICKS!!!

Tom

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I dig chicks. With so much free time now, I figured I'll make some new ones. :)

We've had a flock of chickens for over 20 years at the ranch. All the free eggs we can eat. We also use them for jobs. Background animals for farm scenes, or in little Mexican villages are the most typical scenes. Here in Southern CA, we had an outbreak of Newcastle disease over a year ago and there has been a ban on all poultry movement since it started. We can't move our chickens off of our ranch, and we can't buy any new ones to replace the old ones that die off. Every few years, someone will give us some chicks, or we will occasionally even go buy some, but its been a few years since we've done that and our herd is getting on the small side. We've tried leaving the hens to sit on their own eggs, but that fails for a variety of reasons. My brother in law bought this incubator a couple of years ago and ended up not using it. I've collected some freshly laid eggs from our rooster's favorite hens, and we will see how it goes. The instructions say it takes 21 days. We put them in yesterday.
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I keep the incubator wrapped up in towels for better insulation:
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Tom

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I've raised a lot of chicks over all the years, but I've never hatched any myself. I usually use a small plastic dog crate with shavings on the bottom and a CHE on a thermostat overhead. This incubator came as part of a kit and it has a little chick warming pagoda:
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Its essentially a RHP on adjustable legs with a feather skirt around it.
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The chicks get under it, like they would their mom, and you adjust the height as they grow.
I'll give it a try. I usually start the chicks in the warm reptile room anyway where the ambient temp is always 80-84, so it ought to work.

Any tips are welcome. Let me know about any pitfalls I might not be anticipating since this is my first time actually hatching them on my own.
 

Maro2Bear

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Good luck! I had Black Australorps for years...so fun n docile. Bought them as day-old chicks from Murray McMurray

Highly recommended ✅
 

EllieMay

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Ooohhh fun!!! I have hatched lots of babies!.. chickens, ducks, turkeys , peacocks, even a Kildee one time.. ( don’t ever do that) chickens are easy! Looks like you’ve got an incubator that will do all the work for you.. it’s so fun to watch them progress in the egg... hope you share lots of pics:)
 

Tom

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Good luck! I had Black Australorps for years...so fun n docile. Bought them as day-old chicks from Murray McMurray

Highly recommended ✅
Due to the quarantine we can't buy or bring any in. My only option is to hatch my own on-site.

A producer friend of ours gave us a bunch of all black Ayam Cemani hens and a rooster a while back. They are pretty neat.
 

Tom

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Ooohhh fun!!! I have hatched lots of babies!.. chickens, ducks, turkeys , peacocks, even a Kildee one time.. ( don’t ever do that) chickens are easy! Looks like you’ve got an incubator that will do all the work for you.. it’s so fun to watch them progress in the egg... hope you share lots of pics:)
I'm told you can see developments in a few days. I'll candle them tomorrow.
 

EllieMay

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I'm told you can see developments in a few days. I'll candle them tomorrow.

Yes you’ll be able to tell if you have any that aren’t “cooking” pretty quick. I get so geared up watching that progress and then when they start pipping , its like I’m doing all the work.. lol
 

Charlie's pal

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I raised quail for awhile and attempted to incubate a few of their eggs. The incubator you have is a lot more advanced than the one I had so you won't have to worry about heat, humidity and egg turning. A friend gave me a lot of advice especially when the chicks start pipping. The chicks that have already hatched can stay in the incubator for quite awhile so he told me to resist the urge to open the incubator to get them out until the others have started hatching. Apparently if you open the incubator too soon, the change in humidity can literally "shrink wrap" the membrane around the ones that haven't hatched and they won't make it. I ended up only having one of six eggs hatch but it was so hard to leave that little guy in there for a full day. I may be telling you things you already know but I remember it being a little nerve wracking when the big day arrived. Good luck and I hope you have six brand new chicks! I love the chick warming pagoda.
 

wellington

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That's the only thing I will be missing, hatching my own. I just got to hens last year. Love having them just for pets. Even with just two we have lots of eggs to give away. Babies are so cute and fun. They grow so fast though.
How long before chickens can be brought in and moved again? Geez that New Castle disease is horrible
Have fun and please share pics.
Some of the hens and rooster too.
 

Tom

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How long before chickens can be brought in and moved again?
We keep thinking it will end any day now... Supposedly, we have to go six months with no new cases discovered. Of course they won't tell us when the last case was found... Its really been a problem for business. I've lost thousands of dollars in work because of it. Some people had every bird on their premises euthanized, including non-poultry birds like parrots, because they were in an "area of concern", with out their animals even being tested. Law suits have been filed left and right. Some really bad stuff went down. The government trucks would roll up with law enforcement escorts, and people were literally held at gunpoint and removed from their own property while their animals were killed. You can see it on Youtube if it hasn't been pulled. It has been horrendous.
 

wellington

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We keep thinking it will end any day now... Supposedly, we have to go six months with no new cases discovered. Of course they won't tell us when the last case was found... Its really been a problem for business. I've lost thousands of dollars in work because of it. Some people had every bird on their premises euthanized, including non-poultry birds like parrots, because they were in an "area of concern", with out their animals even being tested. Law suits have been filed left and right. Some really bad stuff went down. The government trucks would roll up with law enforcement escorts, and people were literally held at gunpoint and removed from their own property while their animals were killed. You can see it on Youtube if it hasn't been pulled. It has been horrendous.
OMG that's horrible. I never heard about it until I got my chickens and joined a Chicken forum. Didn't know I got that nasty. That's just wrong.
 

Tom

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I got pics of some of our adults. Its a mixed flock. I only know a few of the breeds, and there are many that I don't know. It was a rainy day today, which is rare here, but that is why the ground is wet and their dust bath areas are puddles.

Here is our rooster. The jokes never end with this one... We have two other roosters, but they were both getting too aggressive with the hens, and we had to separate them.
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Some of the hens:
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Srmcclure

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I just love chickens 😍

I had a little game hen when I was a kid and she was sweet as could be. The rooster was an *** though. He would some how always get out and then basically do the movie scene where he just pops out, stares and you and then chases you down.
Got locked in my car once when I was young because he decided he wasnt going to let me get my overnight bag out and just go back in safely lol
 

Tom

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I just love chickens 😍

I had a little game hen when I was a kid and she was sweet as could be. The rooster was an *** though. He would some how always get out and then basically do the movie scene where he just pops out, stares and you and then chases you down.
Got locked in my car once when I was young because he decided he wasnt going to let me get my overnight bag out and just go back in safely lol
How old were you? My daughter used to be afraid of the cocky roosters, but one day she just walked right in to the pen and grabbed hold of the jerk as he was coming at her. She carried him around ike a pet for a little while. Gave him the spa treatment where they get a bath, a foot cleaning and a health check, followed by some tasty snacks. All the roosters give her a wide berth now when she comes around.

My wife too. My parents had a really big rooster named Reggie. He was a di**. He came running over to my wife, jumped up and started flailing his spurs at her. She didn't even flinch. She thrust one arm straight out and grabbed that aggressive SOB by the neck in mid air, turned him around, pulled him in close and tucked him right under her arm, all in one swift motion. If we had it on tape it would be in one of those "Like A Boss" youtube videos. Just one more affirmation that I picked the right woman to marry on a list of a million other affirmations. 🐓
 

Srmcclure

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I was 16 and i hadn't really been around a rooster before, only the sweet hens (apparently most times we were in between roosters because we had a real coyote problem, idk... just what my grandparentstold me) and he was so persistent! Haha

I learned if you stared him down he would walk off like 'what are you looking at? I'm just walking here' but the second you turned to walk away he was on you like stink on s*** lol

I did finally snag him one day after my papa gave me s***( hes an old red neck country boy lol) but he was more creepy than harmful
 

Srmcclure

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But see, I can do that to a dog no problem! I'm a groomer so I just raise my eyebrow and be like, 'really? Are we done?'
 

Moozillion

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Ooohhh fun!!! I have hatched lots of babies!.. chickens, ducks, turkeys , peacocks, even a Kildee one time.. ( don’t ever do that) chickens are easy! Looks like you’ve got an incubator that will do all the work for you.. it’s so fun to watch them progress in the egg... hope you share lots of pics:)
What's the deal with Kildee?🤔
 

Moozillion

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We keep thinking it will end any day now... Supposedly, we have to go six months with no new cases discovered. Of course they won't tell us when the last case was found... Its really been a problem for business. I've lost thousands of dollars in work because of it. Some people had every bird on their premises euthanized, including non-poultry birds like parrots, because they were in an "area of concern", with out their animals even being tested. Law suits have been filed left and right. Some really bad stuff went down. The government trucks would roll up with law enforcement escorts, and people were literally held at gunpoint and removed from their own property while their animals were killed. You can see it on Youtube if it hasn't been pulled. It has been horrendous.
THAT'S HORRIBLE!!!!!!🤯🤯🤯
 

Tom

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But see, I can do that to a dog no problem! I'm a groomer so I just raise my eyebrow and be like, 'really? Are we done?'
You are not alone. I just find it odd. A chicken really can't hurt you. Its all flapping and intimidation. A dog can actually do some real damage. Even a small dog.

Working with all sorts of animals for a living, I ponder these things. For example, people who are afraid of roaches, and totally freak out if they see one. There isn't a more harmless animal on the planet. They can't bite or sting you, they don't carry diseases, and in fact they prevent disease by cleaning up our messes. They couldn't hurt you even it they wanted to, yet people go into full blown panic in their presence. Same with non-venomous harmless little snakes. A little girl can be holding a corn snake, and grown intelligent adults literally go into a full blown panic on sight. I've had people freaking out because there is an empty snake bucket present. EMPTY! (We use 5 gallon buckets with secure screw top lids to transport them sometimes.)

Everybody has their things, I suppose...
 
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