Waiting for the miracle we call birth can be such a rewarding experience. This wonderful time is filled with great anticipation, joy and excitement. Thankfully it only takes 3 short weeks to incubate an egg before you get to experience the start of new life.
For those who have chicken farms, experiencing birth isn’t a new thing, but that doesn’t make it any less special. For those of us that only have a small backyard flock, we experience birth less, but when it does happen, it takes your breath away. Let’s look at what you can look forward to while incubating some eggs.
Why Is Incubation So Rewarding
The first and most important reason why incubation is so important is the amount of fun you can have.
Secondly, observing the incubation process makes a very rewarding family project. Both you and your children can learn a lot from the whole thing! Your young ones will learn about the life cycle of a baby chicken with some hands-on experience, but they will also learn some valuable life lessons. Some of the lessons include time management, responsibility and how to be careful and gentle.
Depending on the incubator you chose, your family will have a range of responsibilities. Generally, the least expensive incubators require the most input from you. By hatching your own chickens, you also get some other benefits.
The third reason to incubate is the unlimited breeds, crossbreeds and colour variants of chicken, you can have. You can also try to develop your own breed or cross different breeds to get different coloured eggs.
Fourth, if you already have a flock with hens that often go broody, then you don’t even have to raise the babies yourself! You won’t be getting that close and personal with the eggs if you choose the chicken route instead of the incubator, but it can be just as rewarding since you will have to care for the hen. Mother hen will show the babies how to be well-rounded chickens and do all the normal chicken stuff that they need to survive.
Incubation For Everyone
Today’s technology makes it possible for absolutely anyone to incubate eggs. Even those of us who know little to nothing about chickens can do it. I would recommend doing some research before you try, but even if you don’t, you should at least have partial success.
It is quite easy to find fertilised eggs as well. If you have friends with chickens, then they are an option, if not then there’s your local chicken farms, neighbours and online stores (if you want to take the risk). If you have a rooster and a bunch of fertilised eggs, you can even sell your fertilised eggs.
Tiny Fuzzy Chicks!
Congratulations! You have some tiny balls of fluff running around your brooder or backyard. Life will never be the same again with tiny peeps following you around the house while you go about your normal business. If you incubate your chicks, you will be responsible for all the duties of a mother hen, like teaching your chicks to eat, drink and perch.
The whole incubation process takes around 3 weeks with the hatching process normally starting at around day 18. The chick will get itself ready and start to break the shell to emerge. It can take around 24-48 hours for all your chicks to hatch so don’t get too nervous and start helping them. Hatching is something chicks have to do on their own.