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Transporting Fertile Eggs
Extreme Heat and Your Poultry
First chicks for July 2012
Seeds and Chicks


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It is so very necessary to clean your Poultry Incubator between batches of eggs as this increases the chance of survival of the chicks and increases their healthiness.
I am going to show you how to clean my R-Com 20 fully automatic Incubator.

Here is a photo of the incubator. It comes apart into the lid (clear plastic and washable), the white electronic main body(not washable EVER but must be wiped clean and vacuumed), the egg tray (cream coloured plastic and washable), the turning tray (grey coloured plastic and washable) and the base (grey coloured plastic and washable).

Transporting Fertile Eggs

It is very important to let your eggs sit in their carton for 24 to 48 hours after they have been transported home. The car journey or postal journey seems to unsettle the sperm from the yolk so that a chick will never grow.
It is preferable to let the eggs rest for 2 days so that the sperm and egg can reunite in the correct manner and chicks will then grow with incubation either under a clucky chook or in an incubator. Keep the eggs in a cool dry place for the 2 days and turn them once a day to keep the yolk from sticking to the shell.

Extreme Heat and Your Poultry

Extreme Heat and your Poultry do not go well together. We have lost some chooks in the recent extreme heat. So we had to learn how to cope with excessive heat and keep our chooks alive.
1.The easiest answer was to hose them down every couple of hours. If you only have a couple you can dunk them in a bucket of cold water. We water the trees and all their surrounds at the same time to try and cool down their environment.
2. Another idea is to put bricks of ice in their water. I make it out of Tupperware boxes but used chinses take away plastic boxes are just as good.

First chicks for July 2012

Here are the first chicks of the season hatching out in their incubator. We are having quite good hatch rates and healthy chicks. Anyone who wants some eight week old pullets are welcome to put their orders in now as we have chicks on the ground that can now grow up. The chicks will spend the first 10 days to 2 weeks of their life under heat in our utility room. Then when they are old enough to be able to self regulate their body temperature they will be moved up to the shed where they will remain on heat at night until 4 weeks old when they will come back down to the house yard into a chicken coop with a cover. They will have a full set of juvenile feathers by then.

Seeds and Chicks

It is a busy time here at Australorp Poultry Table Top. We have our incubators going full time to start our supplies of chicks for the coming season. Fertility of the eggs is excellent running at 90 - 95%. We are hoping to be overrun with chicks starting on Wednesday 25 July. Orders for day old chicks are now being accepted and deposits for 8 week old pullets are also being accepted. If you are after fertile eggs I can take your order and fit you in between filling up my incubators.
It is also busy cleaning the seeds from Autumn collection. The seeds are nicely dried out so it is just a matter of getting to each tyoe of seed one at a time. It is important to thoroughly clean the sieves between different types of plants so as to avoid contamination of the seed packets. Now is a great time to order your seeds ready for Spring planting or if you have a warm sheltered spot get a head start by planting them in punnets until the soil warms up.

Housing for day old chicks (Brooder Set Up)

I use a low cost brooder arrangement for my day old chicks for the first 10 days of their life. Pictured here you can see a large cardboard box obtained from a Harvey Norman shop. I have cut a square out of the top side to let in light, air and the heat lamp. The bedding is used newspapers covered with shredded paper from the office. When it is time to clean the bedding I put it on the compost heap and it ends up back in the garden. The brooder lamp is a 75 Watt heat only lamp. I found that the lamps that emit light as well as heat keep the chicks awake at night and they don't grow as well.

Sexing Chickens

I usually wait until about 8 weeks. By then the roosters combs are more developed as are their tail feathers (they tend to stick up).
The neck feathers on roosters are pointy ended and the neck feathers on hens are round ended so use a small piece of cardboard to see if the feathers are round tipped or pointy tipped. The hens look more matronly by then too.
Hope thet helps.

Broken Arm

Had to chase and catch some ducklings about a month ago and I crashed into one of the chicken coops. Didn't think much of it except perhaps a bad sprain. Bandaged it up and got on with things. It still wasn't getting anywhere near better after a month so I relented and went to the doctor. He thought it might be broken but given the delay I would have to have a CT scan as an Xray would not be powerful enough. CT scan showed bad tissue damage but no breaks. Dr Had to work out if surgery was needed so an MRI was next. It showed torn muscle and inflamed tendon. so I now have my right arm in plaster for 6 weeks right when I have lots to do raising and selling chickens. Am selling 34 chickens this weekend so might make a bit of a dent in the waiting list. Thanks to all for being so patient. The pullets are laying good sized eggs and it will only be a few weeks before the egg supply improves -fingers crossed.

Season Underway

Finally after all the set backs of fox attacks, cold weather, clucky hens and only half the number of breeders we are finally underway with breeding and selling all be it at a reduced paces. The first pullets are leaving us today and then some more tomorrow. We have a good fertility rate of eggs in the incubators which we are running non-stop. Even the chicks are growing at a better rate because it has warmed up. Hopefully we will now make a dint in the order lists. Thank you to all who have been patient and stayed with us through all our trials. We have kept back enough pullets to expand almost back to full capacity so hopefully in the New Year we will be able to fill orders more quickly.


A new product has been added to the list. It is the Organic Poultry PERMACULTURE Pack. This pack cionsists of
Grey Sunflower seeds are grown by you to a mature plant. then feed your chooks a whole sunflower head and they relish the pickings. Grey sunflower seeds don't cause feather loss as black sunflower seeds can.

Organic Comfrey (4 pieces of root)to grow into 4 plants. Comfrey is the only known vegetable source of Vitamin B12 (good for you in the eggs).
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