Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Potential long term income from one months operation with a 100% hatch and mortality rate is around $3700.00
(that is hatching 210 eggs and selling those chicks at eight months old and does not factor in the cost of feed. For this post, I am just focusing on one months electricity use to continuity run the devices and re-setting)
Last year after building my own incubator, my hatch rate increased from 40% to 95%. That was something I could count on. It hit it every time.
Saying that, I counted on that rate this year as well. My first batch hatched at a neck breaking 1%. Thinking that it was just a first time goof, I sat another batch. That one hatched at 36% and the next one after that at 7%.
It is now coming down to the end of the third batch of eggs and I will candle them this weekend.
Everything is the same. My incubator is set right, with the right humidity, right turners, right everything. I am doing nothing different with these eggs than I was doing with the 95% eggs.
What has hatched out now will not even pay for the electricity it took to hatch and brood them. It will actually be cheaper to buy chicks than to keep doing it this way.
I have beat myself up really bad on this trying to figure it out until last night. I was sitting out back thinking what in the world is going on with these eggs and then I saw the problem, It's my rooster. I saw him do it five times in a row.
Last year I had to sell all my breeding stock and start over. All the chickens I have now are young and just started laying four months ago. That was one of the reasons I figured for the bad rate on the first hatch. Maybe they were all pullet eggs and not fertile.
The stupid rooster is mounting the hens wrong. He is mounting them backwards, head to butt. (Picture it so I do not have to describe it any further)
This is why when I candle the eggs just a few are fertile, but most are not. Sometimes he does get it right.
I know what I need to do, I need to get a smarter Rooster because I am not going to show him how it's done.
(Even though this is really not funny, it kinda it and deserves a good laugh)