What I’ve Learned Through the Community Chickens Project

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/community-chickens-lessons.aspx

We’ve completed the Community Chickens projects for 2009. It’s been a great experience to test incubators, feed and equipment. We’ve had fun hatching a variety of eggs and raising all sorts of poultry.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the things I’ve learned throughout the process:

Shipping hatching eggs significantly reduces the hatch rate, but it’s still a great way to get the type of birds you want. (What to Expect When Purchasing Shipped Hatching Eggs).

Storing eggs reduces the number of chicks that will hatch from them. (How to Improve Hatch Rates and Tips on Hatching Eggs and Starting Baby Chicks from an Expert)

Using incubators that frequently turn eggs and precisely control temperate and humidity improve hatch rates significantly. (Improve Hatch Rates with the Right Incubator and Incubating Duck Eggs Successfully)

Using broody hens to raise a few chicks is a great idea — but you have to work in the dark to make things work smoothly. (Using a Foster Broody Hen to Raise Chicks)

Even if you don’t have room for chickens, quails are lots of fun, and productive egg layers. (Keeping Quails: Newly Hatched Baby Quails and Keeping Quails: Gender Differentiation)

Sharing the experience of processing meat birds fosters a sense of community and encourages reflection in ways you might not expect. (Processing Broiler Chickens and Chicken Processing at Home Reinforces Feelings for Processing Meat Myself)

We’ll continue to share what we’re learning about poultry and community in future blogs here and on Grit.com.