Our plan was to get a new incubator and hatch some more eggs. We wanted another batch quickly because I worry about Peepers being all alone. I was going to save all the eggs from this weekend, buy an incubator this weekend, and start some new eggs tonight.
Thursday night I was washing some eggs, and I realized that the shells have gotten a bit thinner lately, because one broke while I was washing it. They are usually pretty thick – when you crack them to cook, it takes a couple of hits to crack them. Thin shells means the hens aren’t getting enough calcium. We’ve been giving them corn along with their regular layer crumble because it’s been super cold here lately – the process of digesting corn helps the chickens stay warm. It seems like they’re eating more corn and not enough layer food. I have some oyster shell calcium and am now supplementing them with that to up their calcium intake.
A big problem with thin eggs, in terms of trying to raise chicks from them, is that they aren’t usually very viable. They are more permeable to bacteria and stuff that aren’t so great for chicks. I was worried that it may take a while for the eggs to get a little thicker, longer than I wanted to wait to start incubating a batch.
I decided for now to not get an incubator, and instead order some day old chicks. I ended up ordering 15 chicks, straight run (which means they don’t sex them), and they will come the week of March 2nd. That’s at least 2 weeks before they would have hatched had we started an incubator tonight. The place I ordered from, mypetchicken.com, had a cool “Rare Breeds Assortment” which consists of extra chicks from their hatches of rarer breeds. They have around 30 or so different breeds that may end up in our batch, so it will be a surprise. They are all good egg laying breeds, and some are even different colored egg layers (blue eggs, dark chocolate eggs, olive eggs). We will probably end up with some roosters, so we’ll have to figure out what to do with them all eventually, but I think everything will be good.
We are very excited to get our new chicks!