Free Fertile Egg Program
Please read the following information below carefully. Due to the high volume of people interested or participating in the program my email, texts, calls and facebook messages have been quite busy. Most questions can be found below about the program. If your question about the program is not answered, then by all means please reach out. If you have questions about hatching or raising chicks, I suggest joining a local facebook chicken or homestead group. I would love to be able to teach everyone how to hatch and raise eggs but unfortunately this is a very small operation and I'm only one person.
Please note we do not provide any equipment. We do how ever offer hatching and safe handling information below.
We do not ship eggs at this time.
The eggs are absolutely free no questions asked. If you wish to donate, that's always welcome and all the proceeds go to feeding our fluffy butt chickens.
How it works
We just need about a 5 day notice as to when you would like to pick your eggs up. This time may vary if there are there are other people waiting to pick up eggs. Calling or text message is best as sometimes emails go to spam and messages on facebook can be delayed.
You can get 6 free eggs or if you wish to have more they are $3 a dozen or $1.50 for each additional half dozen. We do not provide any equipment but we do offer a basic chick hatching information and safe handling guide. After they hatch you just bring them back to us within 48 hours unless you wish to provide them with chick feed, water and adequate heat. After that I raise them for a couple weeks to a healthy age then I place them in homes where they could be of value to providing eggs. If you wish to keep them you can do so as well. We’re pretty relaxed about it. Free eggs are limited to one household at this time.
About Our Flock
In the past we had many birds but right now we have a smaller flock as we get ready for winter. We have a Rhode Island Red rooster and the hens are Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks. We have our flock tested every year by the state to make sure they are Pullorum free. Pullorum is the disease that causes Salmonella.
While our birds are not free range for their own safety, they are in a large enclosure, free from tiny inhumane cages. They are fed natural hormone free grain and also Organic Fodder and Kitchen scraps like fruits and veggies. They have a pretty sweet life here.
Hatching Equipment Needed
Egg Incubator - This one linked here is as basic as it gets. This one does not come with a hydrometer.
Hydrometer - You can't hatch eggs without being able to read and regulate the humidity levels. This one is also a thermometer which comes in handy as a back up. Things happen.
All in one incubator with Hydrometer and Egg Turner - Takes out the egg turning time plus it comes with a built in Hydrometer!
Larger Scale all in one Incubator - If your looking for an all in one but you want to hatch more then a few eggs, I have used these for years with much success.
LED Flashlight for Candling your eggs/ checking their progression.
You may also need a small clean sponge towards the end of hatching to help raise the humidity but often the water added in your incubator is enough to keep it high.
Beginners Guide to Hatching
1. Setting up your incubator
This is fairly easy. The one linked above at the top, does not have an egg turner but it regulates the temperatures. Keep your incubator in a safe location away from drafty areas and direct sunlight coming in from windows. Turn it on and set your temperature to 100.5 F.
2. Setting your temperatures and Humidity
You will want 50 to 55 percent humidity for the first 18 days; 65 to 75 percent humidity is needed for the final days few before hatching. Most incubators have easy up and down buttons for the temperatures and humidity can be adjusted by adding small amounts of clean water to the water basin of your incubator. If your incubator doesn't have a basin you can always use a small piece of a sponge that has been soaked in water to the inside.
If you are using or purchasing a different incubator then the one linked above, be sure it has a thermometer and hydrometer (reads the humidity in the air).
Allow your incubator to heat up and get up to proper humidity levels for about 24 hours prior to placing the eggs inside.
3. Setting your eggs.
DO NOT WASH YOUR EGGS! Eggs are laid with a protective film called "bloom" this bloom is an important part of the hatching process so we don't want to remove it.
You always want to wash your hands before handling the eggs. Eggs are very porous and any bacteria can affect the health of the embryo and your hatch rate.
Begin by placing your eggs side by side. You are going to be turning your eggs 4 times a day. Each time turning just a 1/4 turn. The first time being when you first wake up and the last right before bed. It's important to mark your eggs with an X on one side and an O on the other so you can be sure your eggs are getting a full rotation throughout the day. If you can't be home to rotate them you may want to invest in an incubator with an automatic egg turner.
It takes 21 days on average for an egg to hatch once incubation begins. Raise and lower the temperature in small increments until the thermometer reads between 99.5 and 100.5
Now your job is to rotate the eggs 4 times a day and maintain proper heat and humidity until day 18. On day 18, stop turning your eggs and add more water to raise the humidity level to 65-75%, this will help the little guys hatch. This is called "lockdown" Do not open your incubator until they are done hatching.
You can use a small LED flash light to "candle" your eggs to see their progression. If by day 7 there is clearly no growth in one, discard the egg.
Below is a photo of how your eggs should look by day.
Depending on how well the temperatures and heat were maintained, you should start to notice some movement in the eggs by day 18 -21. You may ever hear them peeping from inside the egg! I have had eggs take 24 days to hatch! Do not open your incubator after day 18 when all chicks are hatched and dry. This is hard not to do especially when they are running around and pepping but they can survive from their own yolk for 72 hours. After 72 hours they will need special chick food, fresh water and a proper heating lamp. I will add to this for after care if you wish to keep them. You may have early hatchlings, removing him may cause a vacuum affect on the others and this greatly reduces the chances of survival for them all. After they are dried off you can return them to us. Be sure to call in case we step out.
If after 48 to 72 hours you have chicks that have still not pipped or shown signs of hatching, it's a judgement call as to if you want to discard them or not. Unfortunately chicks can have complications during hatch and pass away, if you had great growth development prior to the hatch date and there's no signs after 48 hours of when the first one hatches, it likely won't hatch.
- Are you interested in raising chickens to provide fresh eggs for years to come for your family? Contact us. We would love to give you some free chicks when they are ready! Limit to 3 chicks per family.
- Looking to help out? We're always in need of egg cartons! I also have a line of products in my online store in the links at the top of the page. I have a variety of my hand crafted items like Soaps, Infused Bath Salts, CBD Salves, Gift Baskets and more. All purchases of my hand crafted items go full circle around here. They help feed our flock, provide wood chips and straw plus you're helping your local mom and pop shop.
Please note. I can not guarantee a high hatch rate. The eggs you pick up will be fresh and well taken care of. Hatching eggs can be a bit an of art form so I suggest maybe reading up a little more on it if you have any issues. I' m happy to help if you have questions but sometimes I can't always get back to people right away.