Thursday 30 August 2012

The last hatch....for now.

Going back through the blog, it seems that it was May 6th that the incubator was officially fired up and laden with eggs.
It has been running without interruption since then....
....until yesterday.

Now the hatching room is quiet.

No fan running.
No little lights flickering their reassuring messages of good operation.
No more clockwork egg turners sending out an alarm at every turn,

as if you might get backed over if you're not paying attention.

It also means no more fresh chicks for a while.

If I could tell you how many chicks we've hatched, I would.
Unfortunately, I didn't keep track.
Nor have I counted chickens for a while.
That's why it's time to turn off the incubator for a bit.
At least until we get some requests for our birds.
All I have to do is collect a setting, flick the switch, and three weeks later there will be new fuzzy little chicks.
Maybe just one more......

But no.
The yard is crawling with chickens.
There are many different sizes all living together without trouble.
Even little birds that we would never have let out in the past are now all over the place, foraging and playing.
I might estimate there to be almost two-hundred all combined.
The woodshed currently holds the last few batches, while the very last hatch is in the hatching room.

Because of the rooster trouble a while back, there is a wide gene pool of young chickens.
Much of my desire for so many birds was to promote a good selection from which to choose a new breeding flock.
The other big reason is to make sure that we have enough chicken to eat this year.
As long as there are no calamities, the freezer should be well stocked.

When the newest chicks are ready to go outside,
the hatching room will be transformed from a humid and warm chick nursury,
to a cold room intended to accommodate the end of life
rather than the beginning.
The incubator may even be removed permanently to a new location.

Though at night, I'd miss the sounds of little chicks peeping contentedly,
and scratching for a midnight snack.


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