In a tote with wire topper and a heat lamp over it (they will move to the bigger tote with the in-floor heating in a few days) sits 17 chicks.
This result breaks down in a few ways and we are going to look at them because this is something I think is important when it comes to farming and homesteading.. It’s that ability to live in the past, the present and the future.
The past was that my hens were not laying to steady and that I took the full ten days for egg collecting and even bought a dozen eggs, I had some crazy cold snaps though that collecting (even to the point that a few eggs had frozen cracks when checked and were used in the kitchen for the hounds) but the eggs fooled me as they started nicely and then quit
None the less because I am stat nut, I have a few breakdowns.
On the bought eggs, 2 floated and were bad, 4 were pulled as bad at the second check and 4 went the full-time, of which two hatched. Good thing I only spent 5 bucks on them.
Out of the rest, after the checks we headed into the lock down with 28 eggs, of which 16 hatched, one died, 15 are looking great..
The big Maran hen, I set 5 eggs.. not one hatched..
The Easter Eggers- I had four green eggs set- 2 hatched
And the rest are the Salmon Favrolle, all the eggs 5 days or younger hatched and all the eggs five days to ten days did not..
So that is the past data, looked at in the present.. what did we learn.
- buying hatching eggs is a crapshoot and then some
- The Maran hen at the age of three fertile is very poor and or she is not a popular girl, she will be either gifted as a layer to a friend and or eaten.. with those rates, she no longer has a point in my tiny flock.
- The Easter Egger- 50% hatch rate and like the Salmon Favrolle, the freshest eggs hatched.. so that hen gets full points
- The Salmon Favrolle girls.. a year this spring, healthy, breeding and as long as the fresh eggs are set.. they are looking good!
The feeding program is looking good, active chicks, no toe issues, no neck issues, no sky looking, and so forth.
What else did we learn.. that the hatching temps and gauges are all working well. So while the hatch in some ways if you just look at 17 chick’s hatched out of so many eggs looks like it could be a poor hatch, when you break down the stats.. The process was sound and the data very useful.
So what about those chicks.. 15 dual-laying and or heavy breed laying chicks, 2 not so useful itty bitty chicks that will be gifted or sold off the farm.
The going rate locally for these chicks are 15 per chick, so they have a value of 225 if I sold them, (which is not the plan at all) but lets assume I ordered them in and bought them, then I also have to pay tax and shipping-Delivery fee’s which would add-on 44.75
Which means replacement value on this hatch would be 269.75
Now, if you bought the cheapest chicks you can get from the hatchery as a dual purpose brown egg layer at the numbers that the chicks are at it would cost you 151.10 so I will fully admit that you can get cheaper chicks than what I value mine at.. and if you dig hard enough locally, I am sure you will find someone who is on-farm hatching that will let you get a mixed breed chick for ten..
But I know what I paid for my stock and I feel that it’s a fair price for the quality I produced as well as the breeds etc.
Most roosters will be heading to the stew pot at a younger age, then hens on the other hand will be staying on the farm to increase my layer flock numbers and as replacement hens to my older females.
On to the cleaning and egg collecting and the next hatch being set up..