Category: Chickens

Hatching Eggs and Caring for Chicks

Though all the books say chicken eggs hatch after 21 days of incubation, in real life things aren’t actually that cut and dried. Chicks tend not to all hatch out at the same time. Thankfully, they can go for at least 12 hours without food or water after they hatch, having just absorbed the yolk sac before fighting their way out.

However, they can’t survive in the incubator forever and are best moved to a brooder within a few hours. I tend to build a new brooder each year, consisting of the following ingredients:

  • Large cardboard box
  • An old T-shirt
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Incubating Chicken Eggs

IncubationBack in August last year, I posted my Annual Chicken Plan, a plan I failed to follow last year due to not hatching any eggs. This year we’re right back on track as 12 Light Sussex eggs are nestled together in my incubator, set to hatch this Friday evening.

In the past I built my own incubators, more details on this later, but more recently I’ve used an R-Com Suro 20 Pro, which is every bit as impressive as it sounds.


To answer this, let’s consider the conditions required to incubate chicken eggs.

Total Incubation Time 21 days
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Clipping A Chicken’s Wings

Or, more precisely, clipping a chicken’s wing – singular, because this is what actually stops them escaping. Cut them both and you have a good chance they’ll still be able to fly. That’s the received wisdom anyway, I’ve never seen it myself.

The actual clipping of a chicken’s wing is fairly straightforward as this video shows, but if yours are as untame as mine, it’s the catching them that’s the issue. I usually do this at night, when they’re all tucked up in their house, but that doesn’t make for great filming.

You’ll need to do this when the chickens … Read More

Chickens for Meat and Eggs – An Annual Schedule

Hens in the MistIn response to a query about keeping chickens on a microholding, I’m taking a brief break from the series of posts on goat keeping to outline the annual schedule I try to follow to ensure a constant supply of eggs and a yearly ‘crop’ of meat. Due to the small space we have to work with on our microholdings, having unproductive animals is, well, unproductive. And the main culprits are chickens. This is how it seems to play out for a lot of people:

They are attracted to the idea of keeping chickens so they can have a supply of … Read More

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