We are now offering custom incubation and hatching services!
Eggs are set in our new GQF Sportsman 1502 Incubator. We check the status of our incubator daily, and have a generator in case of a power outage. Your job is to provide clean, fresh eggs. We are happy to take your fertilized eggs, shipped eggs, locally purchased eggs, or eggs from a broody who has abandoned her nest (You will need to act swiftly in this case so the eggs do not cool too long). We can also help you find eggs if you are looking for a particular breed. NOTE: Local eggs typically have a much higher hatch rate (often 80-90%) than shipped eggs. (can range from 0-90%, usually around 25-50%)
Although we cannot guarantee hatch rates, especially those for shipped eggs, we do guarantee that your eggs will be carefully handled, and that they will go through the same process as our own eggs. Our eggs serve as a control, since we regularly obtain hatch rates above 90 percent. Shipped eggs are treated a little differently - they sit quietly for a day, they start for 2 days in the incubator with no turning, then they are locked down a day on day 16 in an upright position (we cut down egg cartons so the sides are very low and lock them down so they can easily hatch (see first photo below). We candle the eggs at day 1, 10 and 17. We will send you updates so you can make sure those brooders are ready, or move that rooster who is just not doing a good job with his hens. All eggs are locked down in Genesis Hovabators or Brinsea minis, to ensure that each group receives special attention at the end. We have found that this gives us a higher hatch rate.
Shipped eggs are locked down in upright positions for better hatch rates.
Eggs are incubated in a large new Sportsman1502 incubator, and locked down in sterilized Hovabator Genesis or Brinsea mini incubators.
The best moment - opening the incubator and meeting the new babies!
After hatching, chicks are moved to a brooder. We highly suggest our premium service where we brood the chicks for you until they are 3 days old to ensure maximum survival. We also suggest that you visit our chick page and set up a heating pad brooder shelf for your babies, rather than a heat lamp or a regular heat shelf. Heat lamps are not only a fire hazard, they also keep the babies from obtaining a solid night of sleep. We have done side by side experiments, and have discovered that at a week of age, chicks raised under a heating pad shelf are heavier, more feathered out, and more interactive than chicks raised under a heat lamp. As for heat shelves, we have seen too many chicks with burned heads and shoulders to recommend the purchase of an official heat shelf. Heat from the heating pad is much more gentle, and the chicks love to snuggle up to the back where the heating pad hangs down. We can provide brooder set up information, or a complete brooder if purchased before the chicks hatch.
Day one in the brooder - food and water close at hand while babies sleep all tucked into their shelf, recovering from the stress of hatching.
By day three, chicks are happy and very mobile, running around their brooder and chatting at the water cooler. All brooders now have a different system to hold waterers securely against the corner of the brooder with an adjustable cord.
Happy chicks snoozing at the edge of their shelf.
Happy babies keeping warm - soon they will be jumping up on their shelf!
Here you can see a content group of babies, snuggled up to the heating pad.
Here are some babies under a heat lamp - they look much happier with the heating pad in the previous photo!
All chicks must be picked up within 48 hours of a finished hatch. We are happy to provide brooding services if you so wish. Please see the prices below. Chicks who are not picked up by the 48 hour deadline or who do not have brooding services arranged will become the property of Green Grables.
We have several pricing options available for incubation. Please email Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us through our Facebook page to arrange services.
- Option 1: $1.00 per egg, $5 minimum
- Option 2: One tray regular chicken eggs (up to 45 eggs) or one tray of bantam eggs (up to 59 bantam eggs) for $35
- Option 3 (Pure breeds only, at discretion of Green Grables): Price is half of the hatch. For sex linked breeds, half of the pullets belong to Green Grables.
We can brood chicks for different periods. We can brood chicks for free for the first 48 hours after hatching on puppy pads under a heat lamp.
We highly suggest upgrading to our premium brooding plan. With this plan, chicks are moved under a heating pad shelf as soon as they are dry and mobile. Chick food is ground finely in a processor and placed close to the shelf. Water with electrolytes in a nipple waterer is also provided in an easily accessible position. Chicks are taught to eat and drink, and are closely monitored. We cannot guarantee 100% survival, since we have no control over parental nutrition or genetics, but we can give your chicks the best chance possible. This plan also includes up to three days of care.
Price for up to three days after hatch: $8.00/brooder (each brooder can house up to 15 large fowl or 20 bantam for this period of time)
Longer term brooding?
We can brood your babies for a week, for a few weeks, or until they are ready to go outside! Chicks will have plenty of good food, vitamins in their water once a week, and each chick will be handled once a day to check for any problems and for socialization.
Up to 1 week (includes premium brooding plan) $10/brooder (up to 12 large fowl, 15 bantam)
Up to 2 weeks (includes premium brooding plan) $15/brooder (up to 10 large fowl, 12 bantam)
Up to 3 weeks (includes premium brooding plan) $20/brooder (up to 8 large fowl, 10 bantam)
Up to 4 weeks (includes premium brooding plan) $25/brooder (up to 8 large fowl, 10 bantam)
Up to 5 weeks (includes premium brooding plan) $30/brooder (up to 6 large fowl, 8 bantam)
Up to 6 weeks (includes premium brooding plan ) $35/brooder (up to 6 large fowl, 8 bantam)
Need a brooder? We can provide a complete brooder, ready to go home with your chicks.
Complete brooder package: $120
We have found that this size brooder can house 15 large fowl chicks for up to 1 week (20 bantam), 8-10 large fowl for up to 3 weeks (10-12 bantam), and 6-8 large fowl for 4-6 weeks (8-10 bantam). These brooders also make perfect hospital wards for adult chickens if they are hurt or sick. They also make nice safe brooders for broody hens.
Premium Brooder includes:
- Easily cleaned plastic clear sided brooder with a snap on lid. Lid has wire for air circulation and chick containment.
- Premium chick feeder, full of Nutrena Naturewise non-medicated chick feed
- Nipple waterer with spill cup (adjustable attachment to side of brooder)
- Wire shelf
- Heating pad with cover
- Vinyl liner
- Clean pine chips on the brooder floor