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Nothing ever works 100% of the time for you. This certainly includes all your chickens returning to the coop in the evening. Here, we often have as many as twenty to thirty chickens which end up outside, rather than returning to the coop at night.
Early this evening, I went out, and was going to close the door behind me. As I turned around to close the door, I noticed, just below the center of the door (there is a space in between the concrete stoop and the container), was a chicken. The bird was laying on the front center foundation support for the container. The odd thing was, me opening and closing the door, as well as stepping over the bird both coming and going, doesn't seem to bother the bird whatsoever.
I just went outside again, to have a look around the farm, just to make sure things looked okay. That same bird is still there, snoozing away like it has cotton in Augusta. I'm telling you, that door has been opened and closed at least a dozen times this evening. Either that chicken is deaf and blind, or it just doesn't care about what is going on around it. Beneath that entry doore is one of the strangest places I've ever seen a chicken sleep.
Apologies: I tried to get a photo of the bird. But, the lighting - and my shitty camera skills, just didn't permit a quality enough image to post.
Our original "two day old chicks" purchased on the 25th of March, and our 41 additional chicks purchased five days later, are all now 70 days old, or 10 weeks, one day old.
One died from wrye neck. One was given away to a family member last week. So, we are now down to 59 birds of the original flock.
This flock is now on their 3rd sack of 30 kilos of maintainer feed, plus 1 sack of 30 kilos of grower feed, plus 5 kilos of grower feed on the day we bought the first 20 birds. So, all in all, they have consumed most all of that feed (the current sack has only been feeding them for two days), plus various fruits and veggies we have given them along the way.
The largest chickens are over 1.5 kilograms. The smallest are over 1.0 kilograms
Each full sack has cost us $18.75, plus $3.75 for the first 5 kilos. This comes to a total of $78.75, plus fruits and veggies in the amount of $22.00.
So, about $100.00 USD to raise 61 chickens to twelve weeks old. (Bear in mind, the current sack of feed will last almost two weeks.)
A friend (who shall remain nameless, unless he chooses to tell) has ordered, and shipped a new 300 egg incubator to me. He (and I) wants to see what I can do regarding incubating some fertilized eggs.
Anyway, I have calculated that, after one full month of incubating, we could incubate up to 500 eggs per month in this unit.
The incubator is fully automatic, including an automatic egg "turner". It doesn't really turn the eggs. It actually changes the angle of the (suspended) trays by a timed motor. You can set the interval at any time you wish. Typically, chicken eggs should be turned three to four times daily.
It also has UV lighting to help keep the air pure inside the incubator. Humidity is kept in check, and is generated by an open tank of water with a float valve and pump that fills the tank from an eternal resource.Three computer sized cooling fans run constantly, circulating the air throughout the incubator and over the water source.
After such a long trip, and a bit of cosmetic damage to the unit, I tested it for some time to make sure all functions were in proper working order. Check.
Below are some photos. If you look closely at the opened door views, you can see the egg "turner" in two positions: