Randy Pryor

  1. 5 Easy Tips for Manual Humidity Control

    Proper temperature and humidity levels are very important for a successful incubation. If either one of these numbers are significantly off it can ruin an entire incubator full of eggs. In this blog post, we will go over 5 tips for more accurate manual humidity control while incubating. Make sure you have done your research and understand the basics of incubation, it is important to have some knowledge of what you are doing before you even think about firing up your incubator.

    1. Making sure you have the proper tools is important to any successful incubation. To properly read your humidity levels you will want to use a hygrometer. This is a tool for measuring humidity levels and is a necessity for incubation. Accurately knowing your humidity levels will help to increase hatch rates.
    2. Most incubators come with a built-in water reservoir in the base of the unit…many of these bases have several small reservoirs for holding water. We suggest starting with the smalle
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  2. 5 Easy Tips for Manual Humidity Control

    Proper temperature and humidity levels are very important for a successful incubation. If either one of these numbers are significantly off it can ruin an entire incubator full of eggs. In this blog post, we will go over 5 tips for more accurate manual humidity control while incubating. Make sure you have done your research and understand the basics of incubation, it is important to have some knowledge of what you are doing before you even think about firing up your incubator.

    1. Making sure you have the proper tools is important to any successful incubation. To properly read your humidity levels you will want to use a hygrometer. This is a tool for measuring humidity levels and is a necessity for incubation. Accurately knowing your humidity levels will help to increase hatch rates.
    2. Most incubators come with a built-in water reservoir in the base of the unit…many of these bases have several small reservoirs for holding water. We suggest starting with the smalle
    Read more »
  3. Tips For Cleaning Your Incubator

    Most of us have seen the aftermath of a successful hatch and the toll it takes on our nice clean incubators. After your hatch you might find all kinds of nasty stuff in your incubator ranging from chick fuzz to egg shell pieces and even chick poo. Guess what? Someone will need to clean that out to preserve your incubator and prepare for your next hatch but don't worry, although the task may seem daunting, we have a few tips to help simplify and streamline the process.

    1. First thing you will want to do after you have finished your hatch is to unplug your incubator and let it cool to room temperature. Once it has cooled down you can disassemble the incubator and get it ready to be washed. You will want use warm water and a mild dish washing detergent to wash each part of your incubator, this includes the lid, base, mesh floor, water tray, and in some cases the egg turner. You do not need to soak the incubator but rather use a cloth or sponge that you can dip into the wash
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  4. Concerns About My Hens' Eggs

    As your chickens begin to lay eggs, some concerns may come up. Most of these relate primarily to the health and conditions of the chickens and their environment. Here, however, we will discuss concerns focused mostly on the condition of the eggs laid.

    A hen’s health and diet have a huge impact upon the eggs they lay. Make sure the environmental conditions and diet are as close to ideal as possible (Environment and diet are covered in other posts. Click on the link to see them.). This will increase egg health, whether eggs are produced to hatch live chicks or to eat, as well as increase the number of eggs produced. This is especially important when the eggs will be fertilized and incu

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  5. Bathing a Chicken

    For a variety of reasons, your chickens’ overall cleanliness may become a concern. For this reason, people often wonder if it is okay to give a chicken a bath. The answer is yes, it is even beneficial.

    Bathing your chickens should be done, when possible, at the same time you clean the coop. This will help both chickens and coop to stay clean for longer. There are a lot of positive side effects to having clean chickens and coop. This will help prevent disease and poor health. It will also help fight bad odors. However, it is important to note that bathing your chickens does not need to be done as frequently as coop-cleaning, as chickens ‘dust-bathe’— roll around in the dirt to get clean then shaking the dirt off and preening their feat

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  6. Which Breed of Chicken Should I Choose for Egg Laying?

    When people decide to raise chickens, a common question is which breed will be the best to choose for laying eggs. This decision is based upon innumerable factors and this post could not possibly cover them all, but we will go over several of them.

    First, of course, is overall egg production numbers. Different breeds of chicken produce eggs in varying numbers and with varying consistency. Before you select a breed, look into this and find out not only how often the hens will lay eggs but for what duration. At what age will they start and stop laying eggs? How consistently do they lay eggs year round? When looking for consistency and overall production, commonly recommended breeds include the leghorn variety or a high production 'hybrid' bird. (A hybrid chicken is a mixture of species bred to get particular results.)

    Also consider chicken management and upkeep. By 'management' I refer to the amount of attention, care, time and other particulars the hens may need. Will

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  7. More Questions About Egg Production

    In an earlier post, several commonly asked questions about hens’ egg production were discussed. In this article, we will go over a few more.

    How often will a hen lay eggs? Even in conditions that are ideal and constant, egg production will depend on various factors, including breed and, most notably, age of the hen. At prime age, in prime condition, you will get an egg almost every day. When a hen first begins laying eggs, it may take a bit for egg production to get to that point. Once there, the pace should maintain until the chicken begins to get old. If it suddenly stops or slows down drastically there may be something wrong with the hen’s diet or environment. This also may be caused by seasonal factors.

    When a hen gets ol

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  8. Questions About Harvesting Eggs

    Among the top reasons for owning backyard chickens is being able to harvest fresh, nutrient-rich eggs on an almost daily basis. There are several questions that often arise, however, pertaining to hens and their egg-laying capabilities, as well as how to provide. Here I hope to address a few, and clear up some facts.

     

    Chicken Eggs

    Eggs layed by backyard chickens will not be as white as store-bought eggs

     

    When will my hen start laying eggs? This depends on several factors, particularly the breed of chicken. Each breed is different, but breeds of larger birds te

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  9. DIY Poultry Feed: Making it at Home

    Many people who raise poultry birds have difficulties obtaining proper feed. Stores selling proper feed are far away from some people, others just don’t want to have to pay for it. Many people don’t want to have to buy it just so they can be more self sufficient. Making or growing your own chicken feed is possible and may be an option you want to look into. It can also be much healthier or more specific to your own birds’ needs.

    One helpful component is a large pasture. If it is healthy and consistent enough, and the coop can be moved to a new area on a regular basis, birds can often forage enough to stay healthy without you providing feed. Even if not, it will likely be a useful supplement to the feed you provide. This is a very natural and healthy diet for poultry birds.

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  10. How Do I Know If My Neighborhood Allows Me to Have Chickens?

    For many people, particularly those living in suburban neighborhoods, there is the question of whether or not their neighborhood will allow them to own chickens or other poultry birds. This can not be answered with a general answer, because the rules are different in each area— you will have to find the particular rules for your area on your own. Here is what you need to do. First, use an online search engine to look up ordinance codes for your area. They may or may not be online, and even if they are online, they may be difficult to find and/or understand.

    If you don’t find anything, or if you just want to be sure you are right, contact the Health and Zoning Boards in your area. Each of these groups may have rules regulating or outlawing ownership of poultry birds. Also contact a representative from your HOA, if you have one. They often have rules about owning chickens.

    Try ta

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