How have you been?
This past week has been a little tough for me to find motivation and inspiration. At the beginning of our self isolation it seemed so much easier, but now after a month, with no true knowledge of when this will peak or end, it’s been a little more difficult to cheerfully greet each new day and find projects (of which there is no shortage here!) to tackle.
Today has been a gorgeous day, though, and we have many things to be grateful for, so we still try to focus on that.
Our chicks and ducks are very happy for the longer days and the warmer weather. One of the ways they show it is by boosting their egg production suddenly from 2 a day to about twelve. The ducks also begin to find a hiding spot where they begin collecting a clutch of eggs in a nest to hatch themselves.
After Mon Cœur (MC) and I checked the hen house for a few days, we collected and set aside almost thirty (!) chicken eggs.
I did something desperate, as I am actually (not so secretly) waiting for our flock to actually slim down…I found the egg incubator in the closet, and got it set up the following morning.
Eggs take 21 days to incubate, and well…what the heck are we doing for the next 21 days?! Hanging out at the house…and now, hatching eggs! We have all the necessary materials (including the rooster!) to incubate and we already have the set up for the chicks, which just needs to be prepared.
MC could not contain her excitement as she watched me prepare the incubator. She almost didn’t nap that day she was so enthralled. I promised her after nap that we would add the eggs, and that the incubator had to warm up enough first. She finally went to sleep.
That afternoon we loaded the eggs, she helped add a few in doucement (gently).
The next morning she ran first thing to the incubator. “Mommy there’s no chickies yet!” She was disappointed.
How we are building Concept of Time
Every morning since the incubator’s been set up and loaded, MC runs to the humming machine, and pulling up a chair looks in through the windows. “Mommy there’s no chickies!”
After the first morning, we sat down with her calendar and counted twenty-one days. She circled the date and I drew a picture of a chick hatching and wrote a quick description.
Then we went back to the first day and we counted ten days out. At the ten day mark, we will take out the eggs and candle them to see if there is a growing chick. She circled that date and I drew a picture of a flashlight and an egg.
Finally, she circled the eighteenth day, since we have to stop turning the eggs that day.
Every morning after her observation, “Mommy – there’s still no chickens!,” we go to her calendar and we look at the day. We are learning to mark an “X” on the current day and then count the days to see our upcoming milestone days.
Six days until candling – stay tuned for this adventure!
We are lucky to have the materials on hand to be able to participate in this observation of the chicken life cycle. It will keep MC entertained and be a great learning experience too. This should keep us busy in the mornings until our strawberry plants arrive for planting and our other garden veggies begin sprouting.
Curious about incubating eggs?
Below are some resources and the supplies we have on hand for incubating:
Supplies for incubating eggs:
- Our Incubator, by Farm Innovations
- Our egg candler, also by Farm Innovators
- Murray McMurray – Hatchery where we sourced our most recent chicks. Our rooster is a crève cœur. They sell chicks, ducks, goslings, etc as well as eggs for hatching.
- The Chicken Chick (our go-to blogger for any chicken issues or questions we have – she is amazing!) – Hatch Along Eight-Part Series
- The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them
- Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard