About that Incubator


When we first started raising chickens I really didn’t know anything about it. Mr. Mims remembers that his grandfather kept chickens, in Greenville. When he was young he once moved a chicken coop for his grandfather and then planted a garden in that spot. We read a few books on the subject, and after Mr. Mims constructed the coop, we took the leap. At the time, when I read about the whole incubator thing, I said to myself, why use an incubator, why not raise chickens the natural, old fashioned way?

Eggs without a broody hen…

We have kept a rooster with our hens for three years now. The idea was that we would raise our own chicks for meat. Now, I can tell you that our rooster has been doing his part of the job, and when I crack an egg, I can see that it is fertilized. But we have had just one broody hen that sat on one egg twice, giving us two chicks in three years.

The first chick I had to separate from the flock after a couple of months because the rest of the flock started attacking it, and its mother stopped protecting it. It turned out to be a rooster, and it wound up in my cooking pot. The second chick was swallowed by a young snake that got in through the chicken wire covering a window. It couldn’t get back out with the chick in its belly, so that’s how we know. In that case, the rooster really wasn’t doing his job. He should have killed that snake (according to Mr. Mims.) But the point is, the highly bred chickens of today are not a broody bunch. They are bred to be good meat, or to be good egg layers, not to be mommies.

The chickens like to dig holes in their run.

My idea of what’s natural is pretty half baked when it comes to chickens. We’re in a compromised situation.  In 2016 there is hardly such a thing as a “natural” chicken, that would just “naturally” sit on her eggs until they hatch. And the idea of free range chickens is nice, but the reality has been that there are too many predators around to leave them unsupervised, so they spend the majority of their time in their coop and run. The older hens do not take kindly to invasion by younger hens. Last spring, when we actually ordered chicks for meat by mail, we had to divide the coop to keep them separated so that the hens wouldn’t peck them to death.

I really didn’t like the idea of spending money to have chicks delivered when I’m keeping a rooster for that purpose, so I have finally broken down, given in, surrendered to the idea that if I want to raise meat chicks I better face reality and start looking around for an incubator for spring.

Related Posts:

  • EP29-Shirley Ancheta, M. Evelina Galang

    EP29-Shirley Ancheta, M. Evelina Galang

    we feature a Manang from Manilatown, poet, Shirley Ancheta and novelist M. Evelina Galang, who has a newly published collection of short stories entitled When the Hibiscus Falls. We also feature a set of poetry celebrating John Coltrane on the occasion of his birthday, and a spoken word set that includes Dr. Maya Angelou in… Read more

  • Basketball, Bagoong and Bayanihan in Albany, Georgia

    Basketball, Bagoong and Bayanihan in Albany, Georgia

    In Albany the Filipino community is holding a basketball tournament with teams from the local Filipino league competing. The tournament is a fundraiser for children in the Philippines, children in need of school supplies. This is one of several basketball tournaments of the Filipino basketball league in the Southern part of the US that has… Read more

  • This Afternoon on WPVM Radio

    This Afternoon on WPVM Radio

    Please join host, Martha Cinader, for the Listen & Be Heard Radio Show on WPVM. We will play two interviews from Tony Robles: Shirley Ancheta and M. Evelina Galang. Also, a poetry tribute to John Coltrane on the occasion of his birthday, and as always, some spoken word. Read more

  • John Coltrane Sunday Morning

    John Coltrane Sunday Morning

    Tony Robles recites poem, John Coltrane Sunday Morning in Hamlet, North Carolina, Birthplace of John Coltrane On The Day After His Birthday Read more

  • Pilgrimage to Hamlet, North Carolina, Birthplace of John Coltrane on His Birthday

    Pilgrimage to Hamlet, North Carolina, Birthplace of John Coltrane on His Birthday

    Peggy Harris shows Listen & Be Heard Contributor Tony Robles the John Coltrane Mural in Hamlet, North Carolina. Peggy was born and raised in Hamlet and graciously guided Tony to the mural while telling stories of her birthplace and what John Coltrane means to the community. Read more

  • Think BIG. Start small.

    Think BIG. Start small.

    Have BIG plans? AWESOME! Where would you like to begin? THIS one simple question can often derail our plans before we even make a plan! When our dream is so big that we have no way to even imagine the full picture, we often have no idea how to get started moving in the direction of… Read more

%d bloggers like this: