My next few posts will outline my experience with our new incubator here at Polyface! I’ve recently had the privilege of setting it up to start breeding laying hens. We normally order our chicks from a hatchery, but according to the Salatins, the quality of the chickens has steadily declined over the years. As such, Joel wanted to experiment with breeding so he ordered an incubator! The incubator arrived earlier this summer and sat in the box for a while. I would eye it each time I walked by and finally decided to ask if I could set it up and start hatching chicks. Well, the answer was yes!
To get started we had to work out the logistics of the breeding stock. We decided to build a pen similar to our broiler pens with the addition of nesting boxes. We placed 50 hens and five roosters in the pen since you need a one to ten ratio of roosters to hens to ensure optimal fertilization. At this time, we are breeding Rhode Island Red hens with Barred Rock roosters.
Stay tuned for more!