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I have been incubating and raising chickens for a while I am not a professional I have had some findings that may help others.

when I was a kid we just let the hen raise them but we have had a problem with these new group, the hens are not sitting so

using an incubator is easy I want 50 laying hens and will rotate them (in the oven) 

my incubator is set for between 100 & 101 it is a Hoba-vator and it has the egg turner you still have to turn the eggs end over end 2 times a day, it can hold 3 dozen eggs.

Chicks, pullets and laying hens are going for a decent price and selling them to others helps the feed bill.

there may be a formula to make money on animals I have yet to see it work in reality over time it does agter all the infrastructure is paid for buildings fences fans lighting etc.

The main focus on raising animals is to have them on hand and not miles away or not at all if we do have a real bird flu epidemic

in 21 days they should pop out I do on occasion help the chick if they cannot remove the cap of the shell but not all the way they need to exit on their own.

in the first day you need to inoculate for Pox the dead viri ar in a vial and you mix the other liquid and use the poker to dip and prick the inner wing / elbow not a big deal.

I extend my vaccine by breaking the pill/ plug into 4 sections and use the mixing liquid by 1/4's in a separate glass container it cost about 10 to 16 bucks and if your doing only a small group of chicks it is not economical.


I keep a 60 watt bulb in a small open globe in a section giving the chicks room enough to get away if they get to hot

they do not need water the first 24 hours but you need to use a shallow container with marbles in it to keep them from falling in and drowning and you need to stick their beek in once they feel water the sip it and then know what to do.

I do that with half or more the other will copy and figure it out.


Chick starter is their feed for the first month with the blended oat meal for a few weeks once they are old enough they do not need special feed and then they can eat laying pellets and I mix corn or chicken feed but most of chickens I have raised did not eat the milo or other seed in it so I passed and just feed cracked corn.


Pasty butt and yes that seems to be a issue blocks the vent and can kill the chick it is easy to clean using a Q-Tip

It can also be helped by blending fine some oat meal  ( I am using quick cooking) and adding it to their food about 20% by volume.


I also use filtered water and change it 2 times a day I use a animal pad under them and change that every other day

you cannot use anything slick like sheet paper you can use shredded paper or pine shavings (not BARK) and I have heard not to use cedar chips either.


for the first 2 weeks I keep them in a clear 20 gallon tote the lid slid back a few inches to allow good ventilation they are better than anything on TV and I can watch my money grow and investment spread lol

You can use a drill and a spade bit and put holes in half the other half where the light is needs to keep the heat if the chicks get hot they will move even when they are only minutes out of the shell.


having the equipment and accessories now learning trial and error will serve you better than knowing it all and having nothing when you need it and as it always is starting some new hobby there are some learning bumps along the way

I think children need to learn and understand the value and work it takes to maintain and keep animals.




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I have a large rabbit cage built out of 1/2 X 1/2 wire I placed the first group born a week earlier in at 2 weeks old  a week later I added the next group

they are getting along and within a inch the are about the same size.

Chickens are funny sometimes they well not accept a new addition / group and the hens will chastise the new ones any changes checking or handling needs to be done at night it is easier to handle them in the dark thye cannot see so they tend to not go far if they do leave the perch.


when the mosquitoes are bad I put some tea tree oil in mineral oil not strong and wipe it on their heads and NOT near their eyes to keep skeeters off

they like melon rind grass clippings leftovers a chicken is an omnivore and as to their personal likes beans rice cornbread old bread spaghetti hot dogs



A hanging feeder keeps rats from getting in or eating the feed depending on how large they are and water needs to be changed every day as they manage to crap in it  you can use a piece of 3 inch pvc and cut a 1/4 out length wise and glue caps on and use a 3 inch hole cutter to bore holes in a 2X6 for feet fill the trough and next day dump it and spray out and refill it just makes it harder for them to crap in.


in the summer I have a box fan mounted from the ceiling to cover half the pen so if they do not need ventilation they can move away

if they need to stay in the pen at times hawks and other predators may hang around so I only ;let them out when it is safe.


I will post other hints and may put up some pics.

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