Hatch healthy homegrown chicks!
The Permaculture Chicken Incubation Handbook walks beginners through perfecting the incubating and hatching process so they can enjoy the exhilaration of the hatch without the angst of dead chicks. 92 full color photos bring incubation to life, while charts, diagrams, and tables provide the hard data you need to accomplish a hatch rate of 85% or more.
* How chickens fit into a permaculture system
* Reasons to incubate your own eggs
* The mother hen option
* Choosing the best eggs, with information on seasons, parentage, egg shape, and shell quality
* Storing and marking eggs
* What to expect when buying mail order eggs
* Choosing the best incubator
* The basics of incubation: time, temperature, humidity, turning, etc.
* Pros and cons of dry incubation, including ways to calculate egg weight loss
* Candling eggs
* What to do during temperature spikes and power outages
* Preparing for the hatch, hatching, and dry off period
* When and how to help chicks out of the shell
* How to tell whether unhatched eggs are alive
* Calculating percent viable eggs, hatch rate, and survivability
* Troubleshooting incubation problems, including tips on autopsying eggs and a dichotomous key to pinpoint causes
* Diagnosing, preventing, and dealing with hatch-related ailments like wry neck, spraddle leg, and more
* Caring for sick chicks and knowing when and how to euthanize
* Basic needs of chicks after hatching: temperature, food, and water
* Housing chicks, with information on outdoor brooders
* Pasturing very young birds