I thought I would share the waiting game on these eggs. One thing I tend to do is start small with something and then the next year, go, "that wasn't so bad", lets increase about 200 percent.
Truth is I have a phobia of chickens, not just chickens, all birds. My mom had chickens when I was a kid and we had some bad roosters, the kind who would chase you and fly on your back and knock you down and try and peck out your eyes, kind of bad. Add to that, we didn't have a lot of money so mom's chicken coop was a utility shed for a riding lawnmower, the door was huge and in the winter the chicken always wanted out. So when you were sent to gather eggs and opened this huge door a barrage of chickens would come flying at you. Then you had broody ones who would peck you when you took their eggs. Add to that, the barn swallows would swoop down on you when you were playing with your cat. When I was about 9 I saw the show the Birds by Alfred Hitchcock and that sealed the deal for me.
So when we moved to this farm 4 years ago and it had two chicken coops and of course the husband being a town kid wanted chickens, I had great doubts. Though I agreed, with the part that I would do chores for them but if they need medical attention or need to be moved or touched in anyway, that would be his job. Since he is an animal lover and I am not, he was fine with that. So we started small with 25 laying hens in one coop and 25 meat birds in another. That went fine and soon the next year we were converting over an old wooden grainery into a large chicken coop and were up to 211 chickens, 75 were laying hens that I wintered. This coop has worked well and we don't even use the other two coops at the moment.
So last year and this year, I have down sized the chickens some due to one kid is graduating from college and another will graduate from High School so less mouths to feed.
The laying hens are a bunch of muts right now and I want to get back to pure breeds. So I do have 53 laying hens and 3 pure bred roosters coming in the mail at the same time these will hatch. So all the chicks I hatch this year will be meat birds. My goal is 80 chicks for meat birds.
This is only the third year I have hatched my own eggs, the first year I had one incubator and had a 95 percent fertility rate and a 90 percent hatch. That was beginners luck because afterwards we learned so many things that could of went wrong but didn't. Last year I bought another incubator and then got sick to the point I could hardly move for a month and a slow recovery. So husband and kids were keeping track of the incubators. The new one was having temp issues but they didn't know it, it would swing up and down and we had some bad results. So I replaced that one this year and bought another one of course.
So that is some background on these soon to be chicks, (I hope).