Hatch Day

We have babies! Little feathery babies that look like they could be closely related to penguins, but babies nonetheless! And it happened FAST!

I got home from work and went to have a little peek, spotted half an eggshell in the corner and heard a little “cheep cheep cheep” and there was our first hatched chick! Within an hour there were 3 more and in a couple of days we were the proud parents of 12 little chickys! I can’t explain how exciting it was after waiting for almost 3 weeks and being able to see them breaking through the shells! We left them in the incubator for about 24 hours to give them time to dry out and rest up in the warmth before moving them into their new home under the brooder.

IMG_7217Unfortunately 2 chicks didn’t hatch but I think 12/14 is a pretty good strike rate with incubated eggs. They are all black or dark grey except for this little grey one – I think he is the other breed!

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The waiting game

We are hatching chicks! Bringing home day old chicks wasn’t enough for us so we decided to take it a step further and bought an incubator! We have 14 eggs and for 18 days now we have been patiently waiting for the little guys to break free.

Our incubator is fully automated so you put the eggs in the little trays, set the temperature and leave them to it – the incubator turns the eggs for you.

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At 10 days you candle the eggs in order to see how many are actually in the process so that you can remove the undeveloped eggs. As you can imagine leaving a regular egg in an environment that is around 38°C with about 55% humidity is not going to end well! I had no idea how we would be certain if there were chicks growing inside until this happened…

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A funny old week

We had a bit of an up and down week here this week.

Last weekend we “graduated” 3 of our biggest white chickens. More on this later but let me just say that Josh’s plucking machine is probably the greatest thing he’s built. What a time saver! We have 8 chickens left that weren’t quite big enough for our liking so they will wait for another week or 2. We have one rooster though who has suddenly decided that he would quite like to be a rooster…it is HILARIOUS! You know that scene in the Lion King where Simba is trying to roar and all the hyenas are laughing at him because it is so pathetic? That is pretty much what is going on with our rooster!

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Raising Chicks – Week 10

Given that the chicks (not that they are really chicks anymore) are pretty much fully grown I thought I’d share something different this week.

This is how we weigh them. In a bucket, sitting on my kitchen scales that are wrapped in a plastic bag. Genius!

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It worked a treat when they were small…now they don’t really fit in the bucket and we have to hold them in while at the same time trying to not put extra weight on my little scale. Tricky! This guy weighs 2.8kgs.Looks like roast chicken to me! Continue reading

Roadtrip!

I can’t tell you too much about what was happening on the homestead this weekend as we had a rare weekend away. Josh had been looking for a 4WD ute for quite some time and he finally found one…only hitch was, it was in Christchurch. For those of you not familiar with New Zealand geography let me give you a quick lesson…we are in the top half of the North Island, Christchurch is almost halfway down the South Island!

And so we went on an adventure. Saturday morning bright and early we flew from Auckland (thanks to Josh’s amazing parents who took us to the airport at an ungodly hour) to Christchurch. We made the deal, dropped the old owner at his house and started our journey home. I always knew we lived in a pretty amazing place but I have a whole new appreciation for how beautiful our country is after spending the weekend driving about half the length of it.

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