Hatching your own eggs is an awesome experience. We had a total hatch of 22 chicks, out of 34. So that's a 64% hatch rate. That's an overall picture. However, if I use MDR's "happy" method, I had a 78% hatch rate. We had 6 non fertilized eggs at the first candling. Not too bad on our first go around. We're pretty pleased. So pleased in fact, we just put in 28 more eggs, with a hatch date of April 14th.
We've sold 6 chicks to a nice family that has a love of animals, so I'm sure they'll do great. It's hard letting even 1 go. They've only been around for a couple of days, and I'm already hooked! We've used Craigslist so far, and are thinking of attending one of the local farm swaps, to see how that goes. Any suggestions?
"Newbie" was the last chick hatched yesterday, and what we mammals would call an umbilical cord was still attached/stuck. We left it alone to dry up and fall off. When I got up this morning it was still there, sticking straight out and dry, and the others were following him around the tub trying to figure it out. I didn't want to just pull it off and hurt the little Rascal, so I took a small kid scissors and trimmed it back. It needs to be left on, rather than pulled off, so the chicks body finishes absorbing the nutrients it will need for a good start. I figure when it's ready, it'll come off on it's own.
All in all, the remaining 16 are doing great. There is nothing sweeter than waking up to peeping and seeing little fluffy butts!!