One of the problems with being someone who blogs about my homesteading activities is that in January, when I have all the time in the world to write, I have nothing terribly interesting to write about. Come summer, when my life is full of exciting things, I have almost no time to sit at my computer. There are things to plant and things to harvest, animals to care for and new projects to begin. By the time I sit down at night I have no brain cells left to work with. It's time for a cold pack/hot pack on sore back muscles and escapism reading. So never think I have disappeared. I'm here and busy and I promise to get to this page at least once a week.
The above picture is of my turkey eggs, sitting in my new incubator. It was never the plan. The turkeys we got are a heritage breed that are supposed to be good mothers, a fact that is totally lost on said birds. They lay eggs all right but then promptly forget about them. This is a problem because we spent a chunk of change on the poults last year and then an even bigger chunk replacing the fox-eaten Toms. I have no other good option for organically raised, free range birds that won't cost a king's ransom in the volume I need to get me through a year.
The solution, when we couldn't find a broody hen to help out, was to buy an incubator. I got mine from Lehman's. It's a very light Styrofoam box with a bottom tray for hold water (the humidity needs to be quite high), a mesh screen to hold the eggs and a simple heater to keep the eggs at a constant 100 degrees f. I did not buy the automatic egg turner as turning eggs several times a day is just not that much work, certainly not the almost $80.00 the turner would cost.
The process take 28 days and there is not much for me to do until the end. I marked each egg with a penciled X so I will know that I have turned each one. I check the temperature several times a day and I make sure the bottom channel is filled with water. I will need to candle the eggs in 10 days to be sure that they are all fertile with embryonic chicks forming. I have never done this before and I think I'll have Bruce put up a video when we do it.
My poor husband. We now have the incubator in the kitchen so I can keep an eye on it as well as the worm farm. I have canning jars everywhere and there is usually something fermenting somewhere and herbs drying in baskets. It's glorious mess most days. Added to the general working kitchen clutter is the mess from the leaky ceiling in the living room. It's being replaced today and what a mess! The new roof is on and the gutters will be on by Friday. Next up is the chimney, then windows and siding, along with a lot of insulation and a new parlor stove. The goal is to have this end of the house tight and ready for next winter. That seems far away tod