We ordered chocolate Marans eggs to put some new blood in our flock for this upcoming fall. I was beyond psyched that all two and a half dozen from different breeders across the US came within three days of each other.
They could be incubated and share the brooder all at the same time! The planets had aligned! The chicken gods have smiled upon me! Maybe life isn’t so bad after all!
Then POOF, no incubator. So much as for that plan. Our 264-egg cabinet incubator decided to quit when I fired it up.
I’m hoping for a great hatch, but with hatching eggs who knows. It’s always a gamble. I get great reviews from our shipped eggs and people send us photos of their chicks sometimes. Most customers never contact us. I can only assume that’s good news.
I had been on waitlists for months with egg exhibition and proven dark standard lines including Dean Jones, Bev Davis and Thornfield Poultry lines.
The chocolate Marans eggs I purchased for our farm were packed very well, but five came broken. Some of the lovely chocolate Marans eggs were clear from southern California. Without being able to candle them it will be a surprise.
I ended up borrowing a good chicken-friend’s table-top incubator. It’s a Harris Farms Nurture Right 360 and I love it.
It didn’t hold all the beautiful chocolate Marans eggs and I don’t have much room in my back-up styrofoam incubator so I had to stack just a few of them. Because of the shortage of space we went back to selling hatching eggs again until we have room.
It’s a little maddening knowing I’ll have to wait half a year or more for these shipped chocolate Marans eggs to grow into into layers here on our own farm. If half hatch, and half of those are roosters…. I try not to chicken-math too hard when I can’t even peek in the eggs to see development.
I bought a small grow-out coop from a friend down the road this week and plan to predator proof it tonight before adding power and testing it out. Most nights are above freezing now so I think the brooder plate and a 120-watt incandescent light fixture could keep up in the relatively small space.
The first hatch of the season is due this weekend from our styrofoam model, to which I don’t hold a lot of faith. Most are Polish and the handful of Lavender Ameraucana chicks are for our own flock. We ordered a new 264-egg cabinet incubator plus parts to fix our current one. We plan to sell the old one once the new one arrives. What a way to kick off the season!
On a fun note, we candled an egg to find there was no yolk inside. WEIRD.
Almost all the snow has melted here aside from in the wood where it’s shady. I am still using snowshoes to check game cams to keep from stepping through the thick top crust left by the last sleet storm every five steps, that’s so exhausting. Little Chippy had a hard time learning to stop stepping on the front the snowshoe and trying to catch a ride. He’s a funny little guy.
The pussy willows are coming out on Bebb’s willow and My mother saw a Mourning Dove’s next with eggs in it already. Spring is probably here. Hopefully. Maybe.
If you are interested in purchasing hatching eggs or chicks this spring (local pick up only), please see our website’s store that is linked below. We are meeting people in Ellsworth and Bangor this year with our chicks and eggs. We ship eggs nationally and are NPIP. there is currently a waitlist for our Ameraucanas, but not the Polish.