Blog

  1. Can I Hatch Reptiles in my Poultry Incubator?

    Poultry incubators are great. With one piece of equipment, you can hatch virtually any type of common poultry bird. With simple and easy adjustments, chickens, turkeys, ducks, quail and a host of other birds can all be successfully hatched in the same generic incubator. But is that all an incubator can do?

     

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  2. Can I Keep Birds of Different Species Together?

        Many people who own poultry birds own more than one type of bird. Chickens, ducks, and turkeys are all common backyard fowl and it is common for a bird owner to have a combination of these species in their flock. But can these birds be kept together?

     

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  3. Can I Eat My Backyard Chicken?

    Throughout time, chickens have been bred for two specific purposes. The first and most obvious purpose is the healthy, nutrient-rich eggs they lay. The second is their meat, which is an excellent source of lean protien. Nowadays, many people utilize chickens' egg laying capabilities, but many people wonder if it is okay to eat the chickens you raise in your own backyard. People usually consider this when they are deciding what to do with a hen that has stopped laying eggs or an obnoxious rooster.

    The simple answer is yes, you can eat your chickens. However, chickens too old to lay eggs usualy produce tough, chewy meat. Younger chickens in their prime are are much better to eat, but the meat will still be tougher that what you buy at the grocery store. (This makes sense. The meat you buy at the store is usually from birds confined to cages all day, who rarely use their muscles. Also, these chickens are specifically and intentionally fattened.) One solution many people try is

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  4. How to Calm an Unruly Rooster

     Having a rooster that is overly aggressive is a problem people commonly face when trying to create or maintain a large flock of chickens. A rooster usually becomes aggressive due to natural instinct. One of a rooster’s primary jobs among a herd is protecting the other chickens. This protective instinct can sometimes get a little out of hand, causing a rooster to become violent. This is usually because the person or animal it is attacking is perceived as a threat (even if they commit no threatening action). Not all roosters necessarily have this problem—many are actually quite gentle.

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  5. How to Care for Newly Hatched Chicks

        After several weeks of incubation, your eggs will be ready to hatch. After they hatch, they cannot be kept in the incubator very long. It is time for them to move to a brooding area. A good brooding area is the key to chick survival and growth in their early stages of development. The important features of a good brooding area include:


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  6. Wrapping It Up

        I have finally finished the incubating and brooding the young ducklings. The ducks continued to grow well, except for one-- a runt. As the others’ growth was rapid, he barely grew at all. At first, the difference was barely noticable. However, as time passed the difference in size became more and more obvious until he was dwarfed compared to the others. Sadly, he did not prove strong enough to make it, and died.

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  7. How to manage humidity in your egg incubator

    I keep hearing about the need to manage the humidity level inside my incubator.  Why is that important? 

    We hear this quite often and it’s actually a great question.

    In nature, the mother bird does a really good job keeping the conditions of the egg just right so the fragile embryo inside can develop as it should.  One of these conditions is the moisture that the egg is exposed to.  In an egg incubator, we call this the "relative humidity" level.  Or just RH for short.    Let's mention just briefly what it's call "relative" humidity.    

    Two of the main factors that affect the the amount of moisture the air can hold are temperature and atmospheric pressure.  It’s not easy to control the atmospheric pressure, but the temperature is something we try very hard to control in an incubator.  As the temperature goes up, the amount of water (or moisture) that the air can hold (in the form of vapor) goes up.  As the temperature falls, the amo

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  8. Early Brooding

    The second group moved to the brooder a couple days after the first. For a moment they were pecked at a bit, and huddled in the corner. However, after a few minutes they became braver and slowly came out and, by mimicing the older ducks, they learned to eat and drink. After about two days they were fully integrated with the other ducks and were overcoming the ‘two group’ idea.

          The ducklings grow very quickly. I have been shocked by how large they have become. As they grow so rapidly, they go through food and water very quickly. After about four days after the second group had been put in I was refilling the water 2 or 3 times a day. Before to long the water needed to be refilled every few hours. The food was being refilled every day. It didn’t take long for the small bag of food to run out. After some thought, I decided not to buy more-- I would make more.

          The food I make is a combination of several grains. Rye, wheat, dried corn, brown rice, and sometime

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  9. Important Components of Building an Incubator - (Part One)

    Thermostats

    Building your own incubator can be an exciting way to make a custom more affordable effective egg incubator. The components you use in an incubator can vary depending on the amount of money you plan on spending and your desired outcomes.   While there are many components that need to be considered when building your own incubator this article is going to focus one important component the thermostat.

    The first step to picking a thermostat is to understand what the main types of thermostats are and how the operate. There are four common types of thermostats: mechanical, electronic, digital electronic, and proportional.

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  10. Ducklings in the Brooder

    I moved my chicks to the brooder in two separate groups, instead of as one unit. This was because of how spread out the hatches were. I wondered why this happened, and how spread out the hatches are supposed to be. I found out that they should all hatch within 36 hours of each other. Mine hatched between the morning of day 27 and the morning of day 30 . . . roughly 72 hours apart! I can find no indication of why they hatching time varied some much. It cannot be due to species variation, because they did not hatch in any order based on breed.

    I did find that many people stop turning the eggs two to three days before the hatch, as opposed to me waiting until one day before. I don’t know if this had any significant impact on the hatching time or survival rate. Because of the varied hatch times, I began to think of them as two somewhat separate groups. Each group consists of three e

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