I checked the eggs that have been in the incubator now for nine days. Of the 31 eggs set, I found three that looked like they've died (red ring), and a couple that are too dark for me to see movement inside. I will wait a week and check again.
Today the nesting boxes revealed 15 chicken eggs and two duck eggs. One of the chicken eggs is either a double, or possibly a triple yolker. It's bigger than the duck eggs, it's huge! It's a white egg so I know it came from one of the brown leghorn hens. They're the only ones who lay white eggs in our flock. It was in one of the nest boxes about eye level, so I know it wasn't from the ducks or the geese.
The colony rabbits managed to pull up the wire under the dirt and dug a hole. There's fur pulled at the opening, and #3 stuck her arm in up to her armpit and couldn't reach the end. We didn't want to start digging, but it would appear there's a litter in there. Perhaps this weekend when it's a little warmer we will attempt to dig it up and put it in the building in a nest box. Then we can repair the ground fencing to block it off again. Sneaky bunnies.
I have posted an ad locally to sell our hatching eggs for $6 per dozen. I'm hoping to get some takers, because if I could sell four dozen a week, I'd be able to just about break even on feed costs for our feathered friends. They're now producing at least one dozen per day reliably.
I tallied up the egg production for the month of March. We got a total of 169 chicken eggs and 16 duck eggs for a grand total of 15 dozen plus 5 eggs. This is from a flock of 25 hens, 3 roosters, 6 hen ducks, 3 drake ducks, plus the two male guineas and the 2 geese and 2 ganders who aren't part of the egg production right now.
I recently read about people successfully hatching out eggs much older than a week. Sometimes two and three months old. I want to buy more incubators to try hatching older eggs without risking missing out on hatching the fresher eggs, but I can't spring for the investment right now. Goodness, it's a bit of an addiction. I do like hatching them out, but I'm not so fond of having a brooder in the house. It's still likely to be several months before it's warm enough outside to set up a brooder outside in the barn. In the meantime, all these chicks I'm hatching will have to be sold. But again, if I can sell enough, it could help pay off the feed bills for the other animals. Here's crossing my fingers.
The other day #3 asked me why our geese don't lay eggs. They will... eventually. They've only just turned a year old. Which reminds me, today is the anniversary of our official hatch day for the hatchery chickens. That means that 24 of our chickens are one year old today. Happy birthday chickens!