For those of you that may be thinking of stepping into a simpler lifestyle, consider raising chickens. They might be just the thing for you. My family and I decided to start raising chickens after settling down in a little, country setting not far from a small town in Northcentral Arkansas. The first order was some bantams, and four months after that — a bigger breed. Not only are they entertaining, but they give eggs to boot! Shannon, my wife, and I built the first chicken coop. The second one we purchased from some Mennonites at Cave City; those guys really put pride in their work.
Taking our next step, we decided to purchase an incubator. I had used one before; however, that was more than twenty years ago. It got me to start searching the internet to find what info was needed (at minimum) to get started. After looking over several sites, we were good-to-go. Here is an Excel spreadsheet we now use to document our hatches. We would like to share it with you and anyone that has a love for poultry. (FYI – you’ll need to have Microsoft Excel on your computer in order to open and use this spreadsheet.)
To use the form, simply input information in the dark-shaded cells. Begin with the top, left cell under “START DATE”, “# OF EGGS PLACED”, etc. Click on the cell that is right of “TYPE OF HATCH”. It will give you a drop-down list. Make a selection from the list: Chicken/Bantam, Turkey, Duck, Muscovy Duck, Goose, Guinea, Pheasant, Peafowl, Bobwhite Quail, Cortunix Quail, Chukar Partridge, or Grouse. Once selected, it will populate other cells with information regarding the selected breed. At this point, we print the sheet out and handwrite the day-to-day readings on temperatures and relative humidity.
Best of luck, and HAPPY HATCHING!
Photo by Fotolia/thanamat
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