Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Incubating and Hatching Chicks: Step 1


We are a small business in McDonald, PA focused on providing fresh eggs and keeping happy healthy hens.  All of our eggs are hand gathered from the nests each day, carefully washed, and placed into clean egg cartons.  Unlike most eggs at grocery stores, our hens are outside all day long and reside safely in coops at night.  The hens free range in the grass and fresh air until sunset.  We have a small flock of 15 hens and 2 roosters, so our focus is on quality, not quantity.   Our flock is mainly made up of Easter Egger chickens that lay pastel blue and green eggs.  We also have a Buff Orpington, a Rhode Island Red, two Polish hens, an Old English Game Bantam, two Guinea Hens, and many Silkies.   We get a variety of appealing and interesting egg colors.

Egg Prices:

Dozen~ $3.75

1/2 Dozen~$1.88

Chicks, Hatching Eggs, Started Birds:

We currently have one show quality black Silkie rooster for sale.  He exemplifies the Standard of Perfection for bearded silkies.  Contact for more information.

Update 5/24/2016

It's chick season!   I am going to be sharing an interesting and important article on raising and hatching chickens.  I hope you enjoy this first article on the first step of hatching: 

 Obtaining Hatching Eggs

Fresh Eggs from the Hens


Only buy from reputable breeders with healthy chickens.  Ask for pictures of the parent birds to ensure they are happy, well-taken care of, disease-free chickens.  If you are looking for “show quality” chickens, research the breed’s APA Standard of Perfection, a book containing the ideal characteristics of the chicken of that breed.  This will help you find the highest quality birds.

A Beautiful Show Quality Silkie Hen From Sunset Lane Eggs


If you decide to purchase eggs from a hatchery check the reviews.  It’s better to find a local one, so the eggs don’t have to go through rough shipping.  If you are looking for “show quality” chickens do not ever buy from a hatchery.  Hatcheries are based on quantity over quality.

Your Backyard: 

Obtaining hatching eggs from your own backyard is probably the best choice because they are free, won’t introduce any new diseases to your flock, and will not go through the rough handling involved with shipping.  When selecting eggs to hatch, choose eggs that are average -not too pointy, small or big, cracked, thin-shelled, or misshapen.  Try to choose eggs with little to no soiling, but don’t ever wash hatching eggs.  Washing the eggs removes the bloom, an antibacterial coating vital to the survival of the developing chick.  Always collect from clean nesting boxes with fresh bedding to prevent soiling and damage when the eggs hit the bottom of the box.  Make sure your eggs are coming from fertile roosters and hens.  If you have a small flock and want to hatch many eggs you are able to store them for up to 7 days under the right conditions.  However, the sooner they are under the hen or in the incubator the better, so select the freshest eggs available.  If you are having trouble hatching from a specific flock, it may be due to the lack of a diverse genetic gene-pool.  Do not hatch eggs from a flock that is very closely related as this can result in a lower hatch rate and chicks with deformities.

Dream- The Blue Silkie Chick
Thank You!

~Sunset Lane Eggs

1 comment:

  1. Love the article! I'm new to chickens and I'm looking forward to the next articles in this series.