Gail Damerow shows you how to incubate, hatch, and brood baby chickens, ducklings, goslings, turkey poults, and guinea keets. With advice on everything from selecting a breed and choosing the best incubator to feeding and caring for newborn chicks in a brooder, this comprehensive guide also covers issues like embryo development, panting chicks, and a variety of common birth defects. Whether you want to hatch three eggs or one hundred, you’ll find all the information you need to make your poultry-raising operation a success.
This know-all chicken manual could serve as a college textbook for the former 4H-er bound for a life of chicken raising, or an intricate tome for the many chicken enthusiasts eager for a detailed cluck for their buck. Damerow (The Chicken Encyclopedia), a chicken farmer in Tennessee, with almost 800,000 copies of chicken-oriented books in print, takes us from purchasing eggs vs. chicks to the intricacies of humidity and candling. "Chicks" in the title is a bit misleading, as "sexing," correcting birth defects with duct tape, and other troubleshooting chapters and charts are included for turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, and geese as well. Students of chicken rearing are taken from improvisational housing after hatch (bathtubs, storage tubs) to creative takes on the incubator relying on cardboard boxes and woodworking projects. Damerow also cover the basics (and beyond) of malpositioned embryos, panting hatchlings, and the miraculous, temporary chick "tooth," which starts the eight-hour pipping process of pecking a starter hole for emerging from the shell. From eating schedules to euthanasia, Damerow addresses everything great-grandpa knew about birthing baby cacklers and quackers and then some.