Just when all the baby chicks are grown enough to go outside… our first turkey hatches!! Incubating has been quite the learning curve, we originally wanted our mama turk to hatch them but seeing as we had to move them the last two weeks of sitting and she hasn’t quite settled into the new coop yet, they are finishing in the incubator.
Humidity and temperature regulation have been the most difficult using a still-air incubator add in eggs that were not all started at the same time: nearly impossible to do without having a few ‘bad’ eggs, which is what’s happened so far. The poor little poult here hatched and was welcomed into the world by one of his neighbor eggs exploding into a rotten mess all over him! It wasn’t too much actual egg, but still gross and horrifically stinky, so after he soaked up most of the yolk and was put on the brooder he/she got a bath as soon as possible. So now the little birds name is christened ‘Stinky.’ Fingers crossed there should be a few more along the way after candling last week showed some good signs!
Some tips I can offer for first time incubators:
-check humidity as much as you can!!! I found the humidity in a still-air was more fluctuant and inconsistent than temperature. Adding moisture in a broad area will increase and maintain it more steadily than just one central location
-resist the urge to candle more often than you have to, as this will drastically drop the inside temp/humidity especially if you have quite a few in there
-turkey’s require different temps than chicks, they should be at 99-101’F and when hatching the humidity can go up to 80%!!
-we had a egg rotator in ours, I recommend if you can afford it a forced air and egg turner are definitely worth it for a higher hatch rate
Ok in other news…
We have morels! Well, one so far. Still need to search the high field but I know they’re out there.
Know what else we have lots of? RAIN.
Every time there’s a slight chance of getting anything done—> Gonna get wet.
Telling myself everything will get planted and only having mild anxiety attacks about once a week is pretty accurate for the moment. Half the garden is tilled and starters are slowly but surely making their way into the ground. We aren’t your ‘stay at home’ homesteaders or making a living off the farm (yet ;)) and still have to work full time spending an average of 12-14 hour days away from the house so stress levels run a bit high but all in good time… It’s about working towards the end goal so the middle tough parts are endurable and not permanent. Right??!
**Update 6/4/17: Stinky didn’t make it… he was weak from the start and though I didn’t expect him to pull through initially but he still held on for a week… was eating and drinking just fine. Regrettably we will miss him as he would have been the first meat turkey we raised but the ups and downs that come with loss and struggle are all part of the farming process and we are learning to use these times to grow (and maybe not cry so much- me) from our mistakes as we go. I’ll miss the little guy that’s for sure </3.