There's nothing more eathy and green than raising your own chickens. Many people buy their chicks from hatcheries or from other individuals but you can easily raise hatch your own chicks using an incubator designed for that purpose.
Things You Will Need1. An incubator designed for the purpose of hatching chicken eggs.
2. Clean Fertile chicken eggs. You can get these from an other person who raises chickens or you can get them from chickens that you've raised yourself. Be sure that the eggs you are using are kept at room temperature and have never been refrigerated.
3. automatic egg turner (optional but does increase hatchability by 7%)
4. Circulating fan (optional)
5. Water for humidity
7. A brooder set up for after chicks are hatched.
Step 1Set your incubator up according to the instructions given in the instruction manual. Install circulating fan and automatic egg turner at this time. Put appropriate amount of water into the provided cups to raise humidity to necessary levels inside the incubator. Place thermometer so that you can view it from viewing window in incubator. Plug in incubator, allow to run for 6-8 hours before placing eggs into incubator. Be sure that temperature stays between 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 2Before putting eggs in incubator if you are planning to hand turn, you will need to put an 'o' on one side of the egg and 'x' on the other. This will assist you with knowing which way to turn your eggs. If you are using an automatic turner, you won't need to do this. Put your eggs into the incubator. Do not put more eggs than recommended into incubator. This will cause you to have fewer eggs hatched rather than more. If using automatic egg turner, put eggs into turner as instructed in the manual provided with the egg turner.
Step 3You won't have to worry about turning eggs if using an automatic egg turner but you will need to stay close to home if turning eggs by hand. You will need to be able to turn the eggs 2-3 times every day at about the same time every day. To turn the eggs my hand, turn eggs one half turn one time then the next time you turn the eggs, turn them back the other way. The way to remember which way to turn the eggs is 'o' up turn left 'x' up turn right.
Step 4Stop turning the eggs on day 18. Unplug the egg turner. by stopping turning, it gives the chicks a chance to position themselves for hatching. The chicks will begin hatching on sometime between day 18 and day 23 but usually around day 21. Do not be tempted to remove the chicks too soon. Wait until chicks are totally dry before opening incubator. Remove chicks to prepared brooder area.
Step 5Unplug incubator. Clean incubator after using by washing with bacterial soap and water. Be sure to remove all dried on feces or egg remnants. Wipe exposed electrical components with alcohol. Allow to dry in sunny location for a couple of days before reusing incubator for another batch of chicks.
Hatching your own chicks can be a very rewarding experience and for many of us an extremely enjoyable addiction.
Tips & WarningsBe sure to mark the date you set your eggs, when the 18th day is and when your estimated hatching date is. Never try to remember these dates in your head.