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Poultry and Livestock: A homemade egg incubator........maybe.

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PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2006
3:21 PM

Post #2001683

Hey all, I put together a kooky contraption to incubate some eggs. It was fun building it and I'm quite pleased with how it seems to be working. Now lets see if the eggs think so. Wish I had a digital camera so I could post you some pics. Sorry

Having a hard time candleing the brown eggs though. Can't seem to see thru them.

Anyone else ever tried making one of these ? How did it work for you ?
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2006
3:48 PM

Post #2001726

i am clueless. but i can't wait to se how this works for you!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2006
3:08 AM

Post #2003156

Yeah, it's fun and I can hardly wait too. I get so excited about the simplest things. :)
I check on it constantly to make sure the temperature is staying constant and turn them every few hours. You'd think I was an ole mother hen or something :)
Kids all grown, empty nest syndrome. LOL Gotta mother somebody !

Actually, now I have time to do all these wonderful hobbies that I never had time for while raising kids. I love it.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2006
3:55 AM

Post #2003232

So far, here's what I've got in it. I just got the plain digital thermometer for temp and am kinda guessing about the humidity. If you need to know for sure, there is a digital thermometer at Lowe's that reads the temp and humidity on the same probe. It's about twice the price, but still a good deal when considering how much a good incubator costs.


So far, this is a still air incubator with ventilation. If this is not adequate, I can add the little turbo fan that they have at the co-op for another $ 20.

Also, they have the automatic turner that I might add later on if needed.
But I don't think I'll need it cause I like fussing over these eggs, and what else do I have to occupy my time ?

Digital thermometer (Lowe's) $ 9.98
Incubator thermostat (Co-op) 19.95
Light socket & cord (garage sale) 1.00
Glass for window ( from old pic frame) -0-
75 watt bulb (already had one at home) -0-
Insulating Foam Board (Scrap from construction site) -0-
Cake cooling rack (from my kitchen) -0-
Sponge for humidity .50
Duct Tape (DH had a roll of it) -0-
Black electrical tape (approx 3 ft. of it) Courtesy of DH again -0-
_______

Total spent... $ 30.43

Not bad so far. If I add the upgrades, it could cost as much as
another $ 50...but that's still not bad for a deluxe model. I checked them out on internet and even on Ebay. Deluxe models start around
$ 200. for the cheaper ones, and go up to $$$$$. You can get the parts I bought at Co-op on internet too, but they are more expensive, plus shipping. My local farm store was much more reasonable, plus they were helpful on instructing me how to install them. Also, if I can't make it work, they are real nice to help me tweak it until it does. Since they sold me the parts. LOL



TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 27, 2006
4:14 AM

Post #2003262

very good indeed!

i recall a friend of mine had a contraption, and she didn't get a good hatch [it was her first tiem] because there wasn't enough humidity.

would you mind my asking what eggs you have in it, and what day you started them???
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 27, 2006
4:44 PM

Post #2004086

So far I have 2 eggs from my Buff Orp., one from my little White Brahma
Bantum, one from my little Old English Bantam, and one from a little black Bantam (don't know her breed) total 3 banties, 2 large.

I hope I have enough humidity. I think I do though. There's a trough in the bottom of the incubator that holds water all the time, and I added a sponge
that I keep wet also, just to be sure. When I open it to turn eggs, it feels fairly humid in there, although not like a sauna. If I don't do well with this, I'm going to add the dual thermometer with the humidity probe. Hopefully I won't have to, it's another $ 20. , but we'll see. I'll keep ya posted.

I've started several groups. Some I started Tuesday, candled them yesterday and "nobody was home" so I cracked them open, and sure enough they weren't fertile. So I started a new group yesterday. I'll be able to candle them in a couple days to see if anything is happening.
Hopefully ole Rudy Rooster is earning his keep. Although I haven't noticed him making his rounds lately. I guess we'll see.
If none of these are fertile, I have a lady that will sell me some of hers for $ 2.00 a dozen. They're just mixed barnyard breed, but that's ok. She will hold them out of the fridge for me and give me ones that she collects that day. Evidently whatever they are, they must lay good if she sells eggs :) Her eggs are all brown.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 27, 2006
6:29 PM

Post #2004287

so what breed is Rudy?

i read that the eggs are likely to be fertile if he has done his duty in the last thirty days!

do me a favor. save some eggs to start this Sunday, or on Feb 7th if you prefer. i want to see for myself if starting them to hatch at certain times improves the hatch rate and helps them to hatch closer to the same time, etc.

i am just a curious little bee LOL
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 28, 2006
4:33 AM

Post #2005709

Rudy is an Old English bantam. He's a cute little fellow that thinks he's the biggest baddest dude in the barnyard...and he is, since he's the only one. LOL Pretty easy to be a big fish in a small pond.

I 'll try to start a new batch on Sunday. I think I'm going tomorrow to get some from the lady I mentioned that has eggs for sale. She says that she thinks they should be fertile, as she has several roosters.

Seems like the fellow at the Co-op said that all the eggs a hen lays for about a month or so will be fertile if she's been bred also.l I was really surprised when I cracked open that first batch and they weren't fertile.
Maybe they were, and it was just me. But from everything I've studied on the net, I felt pretty sure what to look for. I don't think it's the incubator, because it's remaining a constant temperature of 99.4 to 100.6 which is ideal. I may have a few false starts at first, but I'm determined to get this thing figured out...sooner or later.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 29, 2006
1:58 AM

Post #2007538

oh, you will! i think it's pretty egg-citing myself...

tf
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2006
2:53 AM

Post #2014452

Wow...a neighbor gave me 4 Sumatra eggs to hatch. Their son who is 13, raises the fancy ornamental chickens for show. They gave me some of the fertile eggs to hatch in my incubator. I'm so excited. I had to look up the Sumatra breed and figure out what they were since I was not familiar with them. I hope they hatch. I'm being very careful to turn them and watch the temp and humidity. I can hardly wait. They should hatch Feb. 20th...we'll see.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 1, 2006
5:09 AM

Post #2014665

yipee!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 6, 2006
3:32 AM

Post #2025694

Hmmmm. I've candled the Sumatra eggs and can't see anything that looks favorable. I'll give them a few more days and see.
I have 3 of my own chickens eggs in the incubator too, and two of them look like they have the little blood veins running from a tiny embryo. I put them all in at the same time, so they all should be coming along alike. From what I can tell, the ones that have no veins showing look like the pictures of all the un-fertilized ones I see on candleing web sites that show what to look for. I guess I'll wait and see. However, I am excited about the two that look like embryos. I hope they make it.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 6, 2006
2:53 PM

Post #2026274

yippeeeeeee!!!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 10, 2006
1:33 AM

Post #2033944

Things are moving along well with the two that look fertile. Still nothing in the Sumatra eggs.
I went out and bought the digital thermometer with the humidity probe on it today. I want to be sure the humidity is good. I'd hate to come this far with these little fellows and then have them not make it because the humidity was wrong.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 10, 2006
3:19 AM

Post #2034194

Hey, i found out Buckeye chickens can't be sexed. So i have to order 100. Want to split the order? i should probably start a new thread for that, huh? Funny, i don't htink anyone is close enough... but it is worth asking. Lots of folks drive through AMarillo...

tf
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 10, 2006
10:35 PM

Post #2035994

I've never heard of Buckeyes. I'd like to know more about them ? Are they rare ?
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2006
1:25 AM

Post #2036435

They are on the critical list. i am about to go look at the other thread to see if they mention them there. They are the only breed solely developed by a woman, and in the late 1800s! They were accepted into the AMerican Standard of Perfection in 1904, or 06. But they faded out. She originally called them Pea Comb Rhode Island Reds, simply to help them become popular, but when she showed them in Cleveland, she called them Buckeye's, and that's what she stuck with then. The chicks are sooo cute. Can't wait to get them [what am i gonna do with 100 baby chicks in the Dining Room? LOL]

http://albc-usa.org/buckeye.htm

tf
Simon_V
n/a
Norfolk Island

February 13, 2006
1:32 AM

Post #2041329

I have incubated eggs in commercially made incubators b4 and I am in the research phase of building my own incubator. I have had one bad experience recently with my little lab incubator to see if it would work (hence the decision to make my own to my specs.) and whilst it appeared to work well it failed due to a lack of accurate temperature monitoring and lack of any humidity monitoring (like you I was relying on guess work - didn't work). The failure was put down to two main things.

The first was an inability to control humidity. In the past I have maintained humidity at 50-60% for the first 18 days and higher, to 75%, in the last three days. I live in a very humid climate and without proper humidity control my ambient humidity was getting up to 70-80% within the first 18 days.

The second thing was inaccurate temperature monitoring. The little lab incubator was very stable and the thermostat is very accurate with very little variance in temperature, BUT, it is located at the top of the incubator some distance away from the eggs. This meant the temperature down where the eggs were was considerably lower than the 37 degrees celcius that is required.

What happened as a result was that the chicks were slow to develop and failed to pip at 21 days and the high humidity prevented them from absorbing their ylk sacs fully so when they hatched they still had extended yolks sacs, and died as a result.

I have attempted to fix this buy buying a digital thermometer with a hygrometer built into it. Cost me about $20 over here and it measures the relative humidity and the max/min temperature.

I have placed this device down at egg level and have adjusted the thermostat to make IT read 37 degrees celcius instead of the top thermometer, which now reads about 40 degrees. Almost ready for another trial run. Am running a few more tests before starting.

When you candle them you should see an air cell in the big end of the egg. The babies break into that air cell first for their first breath of fresh air. To enable this to happen the air cell must be sufficiently large to allow the chick to get it's head into it. All up the egg needs to lose approx. 18% of it's mass by the end of the incubation period and it can't do this if the humidity is too high. The chicks can drown inside the egg while trying to pip as a result.

My next trial with this lab incubator will occur when my new digital scales arrive so I can weigh the eggs when I candle them (which I do every day from about day 6 to day 18) to ensure they are losing mass at the appropriate rate.

Just thought I'd pass on these thoughts to help you out and maybe prepare you for a less than expected hatching rate. On the other hand it may be just fine.

Your buff orp girls should go broody though - nothing beats a chook Mum...
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2006
5:44 PM

Post #2042514

wow, that is all VERY interesting! my Buckeye's are good at raising their own too. i am having them hatched under a good moon sign, which should improve on that too! i already have some cages set aside to use for the broody hens and chicks [though it will be NEXT year]. my guineas haven't laid yet, and they are lacking a male, but by next year hopefully they will be trained to lay INDOORS, and we can have our own lavendar guineas!!!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 14, 2006
3:17 AM

Post #2043691

Simon, thank you for all the great info. Those are very important things to take into consideration in order to have a successful hatch.
May I ask what type incubator you used and had poor results ? I looked at several kinds before making the decision to make one. There was one kind that the man at the Co-op told me they didn't carry anymore because it didn't work and they had so many returned for refund. I've seen that particular one on ebay. They said the main problem was the humidity factor. Just wondering if it could have been the same one.
Simon_V
n/a
Norfolk Island

February 14, 2006
7:48 AM

Post #2043925

Long story...

I moved from Australia to Norfolk Island last year and as such left a lot of my stuff there. I work as a High School Science Teacher here and so have a laboratory incubator in my lab. It is meant to incubate bacteria cultures instead of eggs but with a little tweaking I am sure I can get it to do both. There are no commercially manufactured incubators here and freight is a killer adding up to 100% in some cases, so I decided to make my own whilst I am here, and design it in such a way that it can be flat-packed at the end of my contract to bring back home with me in my freight container.

My trouble came about when I started 'guessing' the humidity and trusting the built-in thermomenter to give me an accurate reading of the temperature in the whole incubator instead of as just at the top as it does. Guessing humidity here is asking for trouble because being a subtropical island ambient humidity can get as high as 98% - felt like 900% today (but that's just cos I'm sick with the flu as well and so am drifting in and out of a fever lol). Over the past week I have been able to stabilise the humidity at about 56%. With the digital thermometer placed where the top of the egg is I have been able to calibrate the incubator's thermometer so that it reads 2 degrees higher than the 37 degrees C that I need. I've be doing a test run when my scales arrive to weigh the eggs at the start and then every day to chart their progress to see if I've got it right.

Having said all that I have two broody bantams atm that are sitting on my non-broody egg bird's eggs so maybe I won't even need to start...
Simon_V
n/a
Norfolk Island

February 14, 2006
7:55 AM

Post #2043927

One extra thing to keep in mind is that these digital thermometers/hygrometers are not all they are cracked up to be and require testing before being used. The thermometers are generally pretty good, but the hygrometers can be out by as much as 10%. When/if I make my bator I'll be putting in an analog wet/dry bulb hygrometer instead as they are far more reliable.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2006
2:41 AM

Post #2050090

Oh, I'm so excited. I went to turn the eggs for the last time while ago and the two that have been progressing were ROCKING. At first I couldn't believe it. I thought I had just bumped the incubator or something. But as I watched them, they really were moving. This is the last time I'm supposed to turn them before they move into position in preparation for hatching. I'm supposed to stop turning them 4 days before due date, and that would be today. I'm watching the humidity very closely and elevating it a little each day between now and then. Everything looks good so far, but I know it can all change during the hatching process. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 17, 2006
3:57 AM

Post #2050426

holy smokes!

which ones are these?

i am so excited for you!!! be warned, i hear hatching your own eggs is very addicting LOL

tf
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2006
1:55 PM

Post #2050979

These are from my chickens. A cross between my little Old English rooster and a little fuzzy black hen. (don't know her breed, as she was given to me)
She's got kind of a black fuzzy tuft around her face and on top of her head behind her comb. ????? She's not as small as my other bantys but not as big as my Buff Orpington. "Kind of like a box of chocolates, never know what you're gonna get" LOL I know that if they make it, they will be a mix, but I don't care. It's so fun just watching this whole process.
Checked them while ago, and they're still doing the Jello Wiggle. :o)
Caught myself smiling just now while I was typing about it. hehe. FUN
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 17, 2006
2:03 PM

Post #2050993

I've got 4 more that I set into incubator on Feb. 11th. I started out with 7 but when I candled them, only these 4 showed signs of fertility. The other three, I took out and cracked them open to examine contents. OOps !
One of them WAS actually fertile and I could see it's little heart beating. I felt so bad. The other 2 were not fertile. They were from my other little banty hen. I guess my little rooster has his favorites...and for now it's the little black fuzzy hen. She has the largest comb, and I read that the roosters like the hens with the biggest comb best. Hmmmm.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 17, 2006
3:26 PM

Post #2051146

ROFL, fickle love...
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 19, 2006
12:24 AM

Post #2054592

I bought 12 Buff Brahama Bantam eggs on ebay today to put in my incubator. I have one little white brahama banty that I think is pretty, and I like the buff colors so I think I'll give it a try. Hopefully they can wait to ship them until our weather breaks. It was 9 degrees here today. Too cold to ship eggs I think. I don't expect all 12 to hatch, but if even a few do, I'll think it's great.
My 2 little eggs that are in incubator are still wiggling. They are due to hatch Monday or Tuesday. Getting closer. Anxious to see how it goes.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 19, 2006
2:46 AM

Post #2054859

Oh, i absolutely ADORE buff colors!!!

This is sooooo EGG-xiting ;-)

i got up to 24 today, we're having a heat wave!!! 14 tonight. i should get my chicks on the 21st [of March], i am getting pretty anxious too...

i didn't know you could get eggs on ebay, but i guess eggs can be "it" LOL. have you ever been to www.eggbid.com or www.chixbid.com ?
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 19, 2006
4:27 PM

Post #2055830

I've been to eggbid.com, but didn't know about chixbid.com. I'll have to check it out.
If you go to ebay, just type in "hatching eggs" and there ate lots. All different kinds... and cheaper than the hatcheries sell them for. Lots of rare breeds. I got mine for $4.99 plus $10.00 shipping. Couldn't get them from hatcheries for that price. Don't know if they will hatch, but for less than $15.00, it's worth a try.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 19, 2006
10:27 PM

Post #2056638

cool... i checked out chixbid, and it looks like that is hwere i'll get my brown leghorns. i decided with the buckeyes being stright run only, i had better get some leghorns pullets as well, just in case!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 20, 2006
1:02 PM

Post #2057792

good idea.

I just checked on my eggs, and one is about to peck a hole in the shell.
There's a tiny little crack shaped like a T. I picked it up and put it to my ear and I could hear him CHIRP ! !!!!! It's been like that most of the day today, it's a slow process. He'll probably hatch while I'm asleep tonite and I'll miss it. lol
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 20, 2006
10:33 PM

Post #2059078

oh, boy. od you think it will take that long? so much for them hatching on Sudnay LOL

this is just too cool, keep us posted!

tf
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 21, 2006
4:21 AM

Post #2059818

It was almost like little kids on Christmas morning... DH got up first and looked in the incubator. He came to wake me up so I wouldn't miss it. There was a good sized hole pecked in the shell and you could see his little beak. It took another couple hours, but he finally got out of the shell.
Within about 30 minutes, the other one was out also. He didn't take nearly as long from start to finish. They are both healthy as far as I can tell. They are so cute. One is silver, and the other is brown with a black mask around eyes...cute.

I guess my homemade incubator works ok. :D

It's such a neat experience to watch nature unfold and a new life step out of a little egg just 21 days later. It was fun to watch it all.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2006
4:34 AM

Post #2059835

woohoo! now you are HOOOOOOKED!

thanks you for sharing, how very exciting!!! can't wait to see how they turn out...

tf
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 21, 2006
3:34 PM

Post #2060498

So far, they are still inside the incubator. They seem to like it there well enough, and they are doing a great job of turning the remaining eggs
(there are still 4) that are still incubating. The yolk sac provides enough food and fluid for them for three days, so they aren't pooping in there.
I removed all the shells and debris, so it's nice and clean and warm. They are hopping all around and finding their legs etc. In the process, they're bumping into the eggs. Saves me a little work...hehe.
Today I will move them to a little brooder and give them food and water.
Have to put marbles in water so they won't jump in and take a swim. lol.

I'll keep ya posted on how the other 4 do. They are due to hatch first couple of days of March.
undercover_owl
Oregon City, OR
(Zone 8b)

February 21, 2006
10:02 PM

Post #2061211

Hi! My dad built his own incubator in the late 1970s. We hatched out several chickens, some ducklings, and a few quail. My older sister borrowed it in the mid 1990s, never returned it, and, who knows what happened to it...

I can't remember too much about the technical details, but I remember that every few hours, someone would have to flip the eggs over. The eggs were marked with an X on one side and O on the other, to help keep track when turning the eggs.

Have fun with your incubator! Good job!
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2006
10:32 PM

Post #2061303

oh, how sweet peggy!

that's neat owl!

tf
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 22, 2006
3:50 PM

Post #2063203

Hi owl. Sounds like your dad must have had fun with the satisfaction of making his own too.
Mine looks terrible, held together with duct tape, but it seems to work well enough.
I talked to my grown son on phone last night and told him we hatched a couple of chicks from it. He just laughed and said..."Only YOU would do that". He just dosen't realize how many of us 'curious enthusiasts' there are around, does he ? lol
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2006
11:00 PM

Post #2064177

if only he knew that "normal" is a minority LOL
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2006
11:10 PM

Post #2064202

Congrats, PeggieK! You're a new mama! I'm in awe of you pulling this off on your own: good work.

Pictures! Pictures!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 25, 2006
3:02 AM

Post #2069515

Thanks all. I'd love to post some pictures of it. You all would laugh to see such a goofy looking contraption. I don't have a way to get them onto computer tho. Didn't get that digital camera for Christmas that I wanted after all. Maybe my daughter will come to see us and take some pics. for me soon.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 25, 2006
4:18 AM

Post #2069703

hope she does!
cbrandenburg
Freedom, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 25, 2006
9:29 PM

Post #2071248

My DH wants to hatch out some chicks, he was given an old Hova-bator incubator. I told him how excited you were when yours hatched and now he's more determined to get his going. We have 11 hens and 1 rooster. How can you tell if the eggs are fertile? We are thinking about buying some eggs instead of using are own, we have 5 Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns, and a couple of mixed. How often do you turn the eggs during the day? Sorry so many questions!! The only thing is, DH will probably get hooked on raising chicks, and I think we have enough already. We give eggs away all the time. I forget what kind of rooster we have, I have to ask DH when he gets home. He's grey stripped. He's beautiful, we were hoping for 1 or 2 hens when he bought 3 Barred Rocks, I think that's what he is, but they were all roosters, 2 went into the freezer this past fall. We cooked one in a crock pot and he was pretty tasty. A neighbor is raising Barred Rocks and he's supposed to give us a hen or 2. I'll let you all know when he starts.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 27, 2006
12:25 AM

Post #2073821

Hi cbrandenburgh, thanks for your interest.

The only way I could tell that my eggs were fertile was after 5 to 7 days, you should be able to see a little black spot with little veins running from it, when you candle the eggs. I candle mine over a flashlight in a darkened room, (couldn't see a thing in daytime.) But it will look almost like a little spider. If after 5 to 7 days, you can still see what just looks like the egg yolk, it usually isn't fetrile. Those should be removed from the incubator. I usually cracked them onto a plate to examine contents (curiousity) not that I could do anything about it if they were at that point. lol. After a few more days, (when candled) the egg will become darkened on one side (like a shadow) and you can no longer see the veins or embryo. At this point, you candle every few days to make sure the air sac on larger end is not getting too big. If it is, you need more humidity.
I turned mine each time I checked the temp. and humidity. I put the incubator in dining room, so that I walked past it several times a day.
I always glance at temp, and look inside. Some days I turned them half dozen times (or more) some days maybe just three. Once when I first get up, then again before I leave the house, then again before bedtime. They say that they can get by with only twice a day, but I don't know. I think the automatic turners turn them at set times like every 4 hours, but a hen will shift her position and move them around whenever she moves. I think the main concern is to not let them stay on one side more than 10 hours.
It is lots of fun and worth trying. Maybe if you have too many, someone else might like to have some of them. Maybe your neighbors ?
I still have 4 more in mine now, due to hatch first of March. One day I looked and the thermometer said 103, and the humidity had dropped to 35 %. I sure hope they are ok. I don't know how long it was like that, but maybe a couple hours. I guess we'll see come hatching time. :-))
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 5, 2006
5:27 PM

Post #2088600

Well, the verdict is in. Out of the 4 eggs I still had in incubator, I got 3 more baby chicks. I would have gotten all 4, but did something really stupid. I tried to "help" one of the little guys out of his shell. He was doing fine, managing on his own, but I got anxious and pulled the shell away, tearing his little navel. He then bled and died. I learned something...I can't "help", he's gotta do it himself.
Nature has already got it all under control, without any help from me.
All in all, i think it's pretty good to get 5 chicks out of 6 eggs set. Most people I've heard of , say you hardly ever get 100%,... but I would have
if I'd have left well enough alone.

Got 12 new eggs that I ordered from Ebay, will set them today. Wonder how they will do after going thru the mail. I will keep ya posted.
They are the Buff Brahamas Bantams.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 5, 2006
6:39 PM

Post #2088748

oh, cool! i am so excited for you! Congratualtions MA-MA ;-)

yes, we shouldn't fool with mother nature... ;-(
cbrandenburg
Freedom, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 6, 2006
5:03 PM

Post #2090931

Congratualtions on your new babys!! Thanks for all the information. We decided to try our own eggs first, before DH buys any online. This weekend he will collect the eggs early and see what happens. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for letting us know not to help them out of there shell, who knew it would hurt them.
digging_dirt
comebychance, NL
(Zone 5b)

March 6, 2006
6:16 PM

Post #2091066

im thinking about useing a waterbed heater for my incubator.wonder if it will work ,can anyone tell me what the tempeture of the eggs in a incubator are suppose to be.
digging_dirt
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 8, 2006
3:07 PM

Post #2095723

I would think that a waterbed heater would work. If you can keep the temp right at 100 degrees inside a styrofoam box, it should work fine. All you need is one of the incubator wafer sensors and a digital thermometer and some sponges, and you're good to go. Be sure to have plenty of ventilation in styrofoam box though. The eggs do breathe. Put your holes thru the box where they will pull warm air from heat source to holes. The cool air creates a slight vacuum that will pull the warm air to it, thus creating a slight circulation of air. You'll have to experiment to find the right combination of ventilation and humidity. If humidity drops below 45% very fast, you may have too much ventilation. You can either add more water, or close off some of the ventilation holes with tape. If humidity is above 60% without dropping, uncover some of the air holes. A couple days experimentation to get it all regulated, and you're ready. It's really not all that hard...if I can do it, anyone can.
digging_dirt
comebychance, NL
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2006
8:10 PM

Post #2096384

Thanks PeggieK
i have a large styropoam cooler that would work fine.
Must get my son to help it would be a great project for scool for him.
digging_dirt
digging_dirt
comebychance, NL
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2006
8:12 PM

Post #2096396

maybe i should go back to SCHOOL with hom and brush up on my spelling
digging_dirt
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 9, 2006
3:57 PM

Post #2098676

Yes, I thought it would make a great science project.

If you use a cooler, cut a square hole in lid and put a piece of glass in so you can see inside. I used duct tape to cover the edges of glass and just taped it over the square hole. An old picture frame that has glass can be taken apart and salvage the glass for this.
digging_dirt
comebychance, NL
(Zone 5b)

March 9, 2006
5:45 PM

Post #2098974

Thanks PeggieK
I'M going to try that, my son want us to do it.
I will let you know how it works out.
Robert
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 10, 2006
5:39 PM

Post #2101894

Have fun.
cbrandenburg
Freedom, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 16, 2006
11:07 PM

Post #2117426

DH started on his journey with his egg incubater. He put 6 RIR eggs and 6 Leghorns, half on Saturday and the other half on Sunday. He candled them this evening and we can see 10 with veins so far, 2 of the brown eggs we didn't see any veins yet, but it might be to early. I can't believe how exciting this is. We turn them 4 times a day, DH said we are like 2 school kids working on a school project.

I started to look around on ebay and decided to bid on some silkies, I think they are so pretty. I really don't need that many chickens, just me and DH now at home, but I guess I'll just have to start giving more away. We did start bartering eggs for honey, love that deal. If I can find others to barter with I would'nt mind having 30 chickens, LOL.

Peggy how many chickens do you have?
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2006
7:24 PM

Post #2119155

How many do I have ? Too Many !!! LOL I started out with 4 hens and a rooster. Then incubated 5 more, then DH saw 5 cute baby chicks he couldn't resist at the feed store...mmmmmm, then I bought a rooster and 7 adolescent chicks at the poultry auction...and I have 12 of the Buff Brahama Banty eggs in incubator now that I ordered on Ebay. If 6 out of that 12 hatch, I'll have 29 in all.

The fun of it is, that we live near an Amish community and there's a poultry auction once a month. Looks like I may have something to contribute to it soon. Maybe get some of my feed money back. I'll probably cull out those that I don't want and keep the prettiest and most productive ones. Anyway, I'm having fun. Good hobby.

Spent all day yesterday building more pen space, and a chicken tractor.

PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2006
7:28 PM

Post #2119165

Good luck with your incubator. It is so much fun. Yep, DH and I were just like a couple of kids waiting for Christmas. We were so excited when they got close to hatching. Keep us posted on how yours are coming along.
cbrandenburg
Freedom, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2006
7:51 PM

Post #2119218

I bought 6+ silkie eggs on Ebay for $7.00 plus shipping. I think they are so cute. I was bidding on a lot of 12+ but the price went up to $20 and I don't think DH wants to spend that much money on chicken eggs. Next spring I will ship you some eggs if you want any silkies, that is if I get a rooster with them and of course if they do well for us in the incubator, LOL. I think we will make a new pen for the silkies. The first year we had chickens we lost 4 through the winter, this year they all did fine, it was much milder this winter. I don't see any frostbite on there combs.

I do agree chickens are a wonderful hobby, after all the eggs are great and the poo is wonderful.

I'll take pictures when are babys arrive into the world.
cbrandenburg
Freedom, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 18, 2006
2:42 PM

Post #2120759

We candled the eggs again this morning, 6 are now 7 days old, they are growing so nice. Out of 12 so far we can see 11 with life, one brown we can't see anything in yet, but the shell is real dark and hard to look through. We are going to be in the same boat as you Peggy, to many chickens. Oh well, there are fun to have.

I have 11 hens, 1 rooster, 12 in the incubator, 6 eggs on there way, will be fun this spring.

When we were young, my dad would buy us peeps that were dyed, we had so much fun with them, don't remember what my parents did with them after Easter, I'll have to ask my mom.
cbrandenburg
Freedom, PA
(Zone 6a)

March 22, 2006
7:31 PM

Post #2130912

Out of the 12 eggs only 1 has shown no life. Last night we could see them moving inside the shell, they are on there way. I have some silkie eggs coming in tomorrows mail, eggcited!!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 23, 2006
2:59 PM

Post #2133086

Hehe, more eggs...they're addictive.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 25, 2006
4:10 PM

Post #2138382

I remember the colorful Easter chickens. You could buy them at the TG&Y store in Okla City. when I was a kid. They were so pretty. They were like 10 cents each. Oops, that may date me a little. :-D I think they finally decided that it was not humane and made them stop selling them that way.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 25, 2006
4:19 PM

Post #2138402

hey, ir emember TG&Y, and i am a young lil chick LOL. probably the inhumane part was sending them home with folks who didn't know how to keep them alive. i am having a otugh time with the chick i lost last night. it was my fault. he was doing so much better, that i put more chicks in his box. i think they just ran him down till he was too weak to want to live. i held him in my hand over the heater after feeding and giving him water. so before he died he was warm and dry with a full tummy, and got a good nap. i still think he should have lived, but i don't know what injuries inside he may have been suffering from...

tf
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

May 4, 2006
1:49 AM

Post #2246521

bumped up for hunterboy...

tf
itsmemrsb2
Kawkawlin, MI

May 14, 2006
7:54 PM

Post #2278719

I have one of those styrofoam incubators like the ones from TSC. It was given to me. I has a turner and has worked well for 4 years. My complaint is the small viewing window. I was always going to buy a new top with a bigger window. Last winter I stored it above a rabbit cage and noticed the stupid rabbit gnawed it all winter. She didn't poke through but made it ugly.

With the success of some of your homemade systems I was thinking of making a small plywood box with a glass front and "slipping" all my incubator materials in, even keep the small plastic windos to keep the top windows and also adding a light for viewing.

I teach preschool and it has been hard for all the kids at once to view the hatch. This spring I took out two eggs that were almost open and put them in the brooder (a large aquarium) so all the kids could watch that final moment. You should have heard them cheer him on and then yell when he made it. The kids are 19 mos. to 4 1/2 years old. They just love this event.

This might work but I am not sure what I will use to hold the water in the bottom of the incubator? Right now the styrofoam bottom has little tracks in it for water. I am also going to buy a new thermonator as this years hatch was poor and I think my temp. was off.

I too learned the hard way this spring never, never to assist a chick. Poor little guy was not coming out at 10:pm from 8am and three days past pip start. I think the humidity was poor. He lived with a bent neck for 5 days and then died. I felt so bad.

Diane/Mid-Michigan
NCffp163
Graham, NC
(Zone 8a)

May 16, 2006
3:05 AM

Post #2284263

Hey ya'll :)

Here's plans for 2 homemade incubators.

http://www.cyberquail.com/incubators.html

Hope it helps

Eric
Eric19
Lapeer, MI

May 27, 2006
11:46 PM

Post #2323340

I'm right now incubating my eggs and wondering when their going to hatch. I have a few sets of eggs that came in at different days. The first set is on it's 22nd day. So I heard it was suppose to hatch on the 21st. Now the 2nd set is do to hatch today. But for some odd reason I can't see through the egg when candeling them. I read in the manual, ( I the manual from the incubator when bought) and it said to get a shoe box or something else, and on the cap shoe box make a diameter the size of a quarter. place the egg there but before placing the egg you put a powerful light source in the box. Then close the box, and then the egg should illuminate. So basically I really need help on what I'm doing wrong. Plus I got the eggs ( which are now chicken laying the eggs for the incubator) from TSC. PLEASE HELP.
NCffp163
Graham, NC
(Zone 8a)

May 28, 2006
1:54 AM

Post #2323712

Eric,

What is the temp in the "bator"? If its below 99 degrees or so, you could have a late hatch. Also, do you know what your humidity is in the "bator"? As far as candling, are you shining the light on the small pointed end or the bigger rounded end and are you doing this in a darkened room? I'm in the process of incubating 108 quail eggs, due to hatch in about 2 more weeks or so (if I did everything right...lol).

Eric
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

May 29, 2006
2:59 AM

Post #2327050


I was able to candle mine with just a strong flashlight in a darkened room.
An egg that is filled with baby chick will appear all dark on the inside rather than to illuminate.

crestedchik

crestedchik
Cicero, NY
(Zone 5a)

May 29, 2006
12:13 PM

Post #2327624

My first "candler" was a large tin can that I cut a hole in the bottom of and would take a lampshade off and put that on top of the shade holder,hold the egg next to the hole(in a dark room)
Crude...but it worked

warning
It does get HOT
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

May 30, 2006
4:12 PM

Post #2331569


Yep, it does. I did that exact same thing but got so frustrated with it being so hot. I was afraid I would cook the egg, lol. That's when I discovered that I could do it just as well with a flashlight in a dark room. It really does have to be dark though, so I did all my flashlight candling at night. I just cupped one hand around the light part and put the egg up to the hole between my thumb and fingers. Since it dosen't get as hot, it gives you more time to take a longer look too. I never was able to see thru the dark brown eggs this way though.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 31, 2007
7:55 PM

Post #3142813


Bump
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 13, 2007
8:30 PM

Post #3185645

Peggie ~
THANK YOU so much for bumping this thread! It couldn't have come along at a better time for me! :-) I have just finished building my chicken coop this weekend, chicks are ordered and on the way (should be here Friday) and now I'm checking into building my own incubator and hatching my own chicks! I am SOOOO excited about it! I know without a doubt, I'm hooked and my chicks aren't even here yet.
Can any of you experienced chick moms or dads help me with incubator tips, temperature tips, do's/don'ts, and what is the best method of candle-ing? (sp?) I'm looking forward to hearing from everyone and thanks a bunch for the help! I'll post pics of the new coop (built out of recyled lumber and tin), only costing me the price of a roll of chicken wire. Frugal, I am! :-)
Belinda
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

February 14, 2007
3:44 AM

Post #3186916

Texas we made a incubator the heat comes from a light bulb you have a termostat which controls the light bulb when it reaches the right temp it kicks off we made it out of a cooler. Have been using it for a year works well have to keep a small container of water for humidty. Watch out for this have way too many guineas, chickens, turkeys, quail, lol I also answered your question about the feed when you were in the middle of building your coop. Put my 50cents worth in lol I don't bother candling let it just go I have 80% hatch rate if not more, If you can get your hands on a small fan and wire that in is way better than still air maybe a fan from a old computer? mark eggs with pencil so you know the date turn once a day no more every time you open the lid you loose humidty have to have that. If you open and close all the time humidty goes low chicks can;t get out of the shell there stuck and die and no helping them out either if they can't get out there weak and will die anyway. And maybe there not ready yet and you think your helping and they bleed to death trust me been there done that good luck with it by the way my name is Dana if I can help you with something let me know. One more thing stop turning eggs 3 days before there due so they can get in position for hatching
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

February 14, 2007
4:00 AM

Post #3186936

Peggy how many chicks have you hatched since the first time if your like me way to many . Hard to remember that those cute little chicks are going to grow up to be full fledge chickens
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 14, 2007
2:01 PM

Post #3187792

Dana ~
I really appreciate your tips and helpful information. As much of an animal lover as I am, I'm sure that I too will end up with WAY too many little chicks. :-) I'm about to make a trip to town to purchase all of my necessary supplies for the new incubator. DH thinks I have lost it! LOL Can't wait to see if I can hatch little ones - - - maybe they will grow up and work on my grasshopper population! Thanks again for helping me get started!
Belinda

p.s. Peggy, do let us know how your chick business is going! :-)
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

February 14, 2007
2:08 PM

Post #3187817

Texas what you need are guineas I have quite a few but no bugs they are the best bug eaters out there they don't mess with the plants but the chickens do. Chickens do damadge scratch them right out of the ground makes me mad. Guineas are great little watch dogs too.
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 14, 2007
2:17 PM

Post #3187856

I have read that about chicken literally digging up plants...and yes, that would irritate me a bit for sure. I have their little world fenced off to where all they can get to is their 1/4 acre area. Hopefully, that will eliminate them destroying my plants. Now, about these guineas. Can you incubate their eggs just like chicken eggs? Sorry to ask such silly questions, but all of this is new to me and I'm only beginning to learn! :-) Thanks for your help Dana!
ttfn,
Belinda
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

February 16, 2007
4:36 PM

Post #3195481

texas you can hatch any kind of egg some just take a longer period of time but I ordered all mine from ebay. I was going to post a trade for plumeria for eggs. I have chickens different kinds and turkeys and guineas. The guineas don't start laying till may Dana
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2007
7:09 PM

Post #3195979

Thanks again, Dana. I have found several hatching eggs on eBbay, I have added them to my watch list and in the mean time I am attempting to build me an incubator! I have all of the materials, just need to stop long enough to build it. I am making one out of plywood, etc - - - what do you have your eggs sitting on inside of the incubator? I know that by May we will NEED some guineas to control our hoppers! Do you also trade/sell your guinea eggs? Have a great weekend!
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

February 17, 2007
10:16 PM

Post #3199751

Texas for the floor of incubator well what the eggs sit on is wire quarter by quarter small mesh wire so when they hatch you don't want them breaking there legs. It was 27 degrees here this morning ! for central florida thats real cold and very bad for the plants. Just when you get spring fever you always get this to set you back a little hope everyone has a good weekend and stay warm.
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 18, 2007
2:20 AM

Post #3200555

Dana, thanks for sharing your information and tips with me. I have got to post a picture of my new coop and my new incubator...DH & I just finished it up tonight and we're checking out the temp/humidity levels. I hope to bid on some eggs tomorrow and then I'll be in business!
27 in Florida is BRRRRRR cold, Dana! Whew! We too have had a terrible blast of cold this week, it was 13 Thursday morning and man, it was COLD for us! My poor baby bulbs and tender perennials had already started coming up and that certainly nipped them a bit! Well, maybe that was the last tremendous cold front for us and hopefully for you too. I am SO ready for Spring - - - talk about Spring fever, I have it BAD! :) Hope that you too have a great weekend!
Belinda
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

February 18, 2007
12:25 PM

Post #3201112

Texas heres a little truth about getting eggs from the mail the post office randomly xrays the boxes and if there coming from cold country you might not do so well. What exactly are you looking for. We have had broken crushed non fertile eggs cost me alot of money to get my starts. I have been hatching chicks all winter long. Alot of bantams, different chickens like I said guineas won't lay until may. I sell my eggs on ebay because I have so many thats just Guineas and turkeys the chickens I don't turkeys are laying now. Let me know Dana
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 18, 2007
6:48 PM

Post #3202186

Dana,
I would love to try some turkey eggs, type is not of importance to me yet. What type turkeys do you have available right now? Thanks for the tip of truth about eggs, being new to all of this I need all the help I can get. Also, would it be easier for you to dmail or email me instead of us tracking back to this thread? lol If so, my email addy is: bkstarnes@earthlink.net. I appreciate the offer!
Belinda
jab91864
Northern Michigan, MI
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2007
6:58 PM

Post #3211981

I use to have an incubator but it's been quite a few years since I loaned it out...lol. I am thinking of ordering some turkey eggs to try to hatch and am looking at building a makeshift incubator from a styrafoam cooler. What I want to know is what kind of fan would I buy to put in it... Obviously something small and I think I read somewhere to get plastic but I haven't started looking around yet. I went to the cyberquail link and it has a fan but I don't think it was specific... I will have to re-read.

Just curious of those who have made their own incubators successfully how you did the "air movement" to keep it a level heat.

Thanks for the info...

~Julie =0)
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2007
9:25 PM

Post #3212396

Julie,
I used a PC fan for my air movement in the incubator. You can get them at any Radio Shack, Staples, Office Depot, etc. Simply wired it into the electrical source and it seems to be the perfect amount of air for my 12 X 16 bator. My humidity level stays pretty consistently at 58%. Hope this helps you some.
Belinda
jab91864
Northern Michigan, MI
(Zone 5a)

February 21, 2007
11:44 PM

Post #3212734

Hhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmm well I have a pc that had thermal failure last summer. I replaced the fan with a brand new one but then had other issues and just replaced the entire pc. I suppose I could snatch it out of there, but as I recall it was pretty big. I'd have to pull it out and look at it and see if I could figure out how to wire it in...

Thanks for the suggestion !!

~Julie =0)
TexasGardenMom
Dublin, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 22, 2007
12:50 AM

Post #3212940

Julie,
My fan is only a 3x3 in size...all plastic. As for the wiring, just hook your red/positive to the coordinating electrical source and you should be good to go! Keep me posted on how it goes!
Good luck!
Belinda
leannex

May 28, 2008
1:05 PM

Post #5014493

im hatching silkie chicks (eggs) i dont no if a homemade incubator will work ? will it ? do they ruin ur garden ? ????????????????????

leanne
knslwilliams
Clarksburg, MO

May 28, 2008
1:26 PM

Post #5014581

I Made a homemade incubator from an old styrofoam box our vet clinic gets it's meds shipped in. I added the light bulb and a $5 desk fan from Dollar General. I put the water in an aluminum cake pan and lay hardware cloth on top of that with the eggs on it. I got my humidity and temperature thermometer at Wal-mart for $5 (they are by the alarm clocks). Total spent is around $20.00.

So far I have hatched 37 chicks in three different batches and now have 36 in for the forth hatch. I really love hatching out the eggs.

Now what to do with all the chicks, LOL

Sheila
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

May 28, 2008
5:40 PM

Post #5015746

yes, leanne, i think a homemade incubator shoul dwork just fine. you ned a thermometer and wither a wet or dry hygrometer [humidity indicator], since the most importatn things are air circulation, temperature, and relative humdity.

can't wait to see how your silkie eggs come out. some of us here call them peeps until they hatch ^_^

tf
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

June 25, 2008
4:37 PM

Post #5157847

Oh gosh I have a fever now. Will be making me a bator now, I have read up on it and was like well that went right over my head but the way you have explained it, gosh a middle grade school kid can do this.

Thanks for all the info and a shamelss bump of this thread. Very interesting reading here.
ladybugsabound2
Novinger, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 26, 2008
12:03 AM

Post #5159684

You'll have to let us know how it goes L2G...if you build one. I read this thread not too long ago and found it very interesting. My DH is kicking around the idea of rigging up an old refrigerator as an incubator. A small dorm one at first and then if that works, a big one. Has anyone ever heard of this being done before? Can you see any drawbacks, possible problems we might have?

Christy
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

June 26, 2008
12:19 AM

Post #5159751

Oh I sure i will be keeping everyone posted on this, I am sure I will run into problems and will be asking for help. I think I have the humidity and the heat thing down now after reading it here in so much easier terms than i have ever read on them other sites.
ladybugsabound2
Novinger, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 26, 2008
1:00 AM

Post #5159904

L2G...I for sure know what you mean. We incubated our 1st batch of eggs before I found DG. I poured over all kinds of books and different web sites. The only thing I really found totally confusing was the fact that it seemed like the temp and RH to keep them at were all different. That was VERY confusing to say the least and left us always guessing, wondering if we were doing it right and worrying. I was a nervous wreck and was sure every other day, at the least, that we had ruined them. I am sooooo happy that I found this site. Lots of people to walk you through it and help you out!! ^_^

One tip I learned the hard way...when candling eggs, if you are not really sure what you are looking at, put it back in the incubator and give it a little more time. After seeing a bunch of candling pictures and reading a bunch, we were 'sure' one was a dud after 10 days. We broke it out on a plate...oh no, a baby chick. That is heart breaking and we won't make that mistake again!! Hope that helps a little.

Christy
luvs2garden2000
(Tia) Norman, OK
(Zone 7a)

June 26, 2008
1:11 AM

Post #5159949

I know what you mean. Mom has chickens and we had a family get together and was making tater salad, boiled the eggs and thankfully mom was do this, if it would have been one of the kids they would never touch an egg let alone anything with egg in it again. Yes a boiled chick, the hen had been setting. Mom didnt know she had stolen the hens new to be baby. We were so heartbroken. Mom no longer has a rooster so no problem now :) When I get my new chicks I will be giving her some to replace her chickens they are getting a bit old now at 3 yrs old but still laying. She will still not have a rooster tho.

I will probably make this bator and test it out soon, maybe next week and then I may order me some eggs. I just dont really want to be doing the brooding thing in the cold months. So if I am going to do this I best get on it.

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Other Poultry and Livestock Threads you might be interested in:

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