It is so rewarding to see my older children starting to embrace our lifestyle of their own free will. Proeun and I have been talking about how amazing destiny and synchronicity is. We made many of the decisions we are ecstatic for years ago, when it seemed foolish (sometimes even to us), but now our life is sustaining us in so so so many ways. I am ultra grateful we made the decision to follow our heart.
The past couple of weeks we have had some new additions to the farm, thanks primarily to the efforts of our older children.
One task Avril particularly likes is having chickens. We thought about purchasing from a hatchery but the Coronavirus hit about the time we would have had to order so we decided on hatching our own.
We invested in a better incubator. We did get the one with the egg turner but there is a cheaper option. In this case you would have to turn the eggs manually. This is what we did last year. You use a pencil (definitely not pen or marker) and write the date on the egg, put and X on one side, flip it over and put and O on the other. You flip from one sign to the other about every 12 hours, we did at 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. It takes 21 days to hatch chicks. Three days before they are due to hatch you stop turning the eggs. If you are using this incubator you will want to remove the egg turner at this point.
Our first batch didn’t turn out very good. Avril trouble shooted and decided that one thing she needed to do was open the incubator twice a day, a mother chicken will leave the nest sometimes so she started implementing this and the 2nd batch went better.
She has done two batches of chicks and now duck eggs are in the incubator.
A second addition to the farm is Embden Geese. We did order these from Peterson’s North Branch Mill, our absolute favorite store! We had been doing some spring cleaning jobs around the farm. I was feeling overwhelmed and seriously thought about hiring someone to complete the task, but instead I offered to pay the children if they would get the job done without me. They did and Proeun the 2nd (Two) decided to use his money to buy geese, He researched breeds and places to purchase and selected Embdens. Geese are a new addition to the farm.
If you are interested in getting into poultry chickens are a great way to begin. Many cities allow a limited number of chickens. To get started my absolutely favorite books on all things homesteading is Storey publications.