GRIT Country Skills Series

Hatch a Flock

Whichcame first, the chicken or the egg? For most backyard poultry enthusiasts, the chicken came first—well, more correctly, the day-old chicks first arrived in the mail. But that’s not the only way to create your first flock or maintain your existing one. For folks who are uncertain about receiving live animals through the mail, or simply cannot handle the minimum number of day-old chicks that most hatcheries require, incubating fertile eggs is an alternative. Likewise for folks who keep a rooster in their flock, incubating eggs is a great way to increase the flock size, or to provide replacements for birds that have been culled. Hatching fertile eggs need not be difficult, but your success rate can be increased by following a few guiding principles.

Environmental Impact

Chicken eggs need a fairly specific environment to develop properly and hatch successfully. Perhaps the most important

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