Dealing With Failures and Setbacks on the Homestead

Dealing With Failures and Setbacks on the Homestead

posted in: Chickens, Gardening | 0

Well, the Homesteading lifestyle is certainly not without failures and heartbreaks. While it’s great to be positive and show you all how to succeed at this truly rewarding lifestyle, I have to admit failure when that happens too. It is part of life and we learn and grow from our mistakes.

My last post showed you my excitement of putting a batch of eggs in the incubator and hoping for a pile of fuzzy chicks to usher in spring. Yeah. That didn’t happen. Hatch day was supposed to be Feb. 17. Hatch day came and went and no pips. We had quite a few temperature fluctuations this time around, so we left them and maintained the temperature and humidity for an extra 5 days until today. I’m sad to say – none hatched.

I did take the opportunity to break open three of the eggs just to see how far along they were before they stopped developing and it looks to me that they died around the 11 to 12 day mark. The eyes were formed, large and dark; there may have been just a few faint feathers appearing; and when I compared the embryos to chick development pictures online, they looked like the images on day 11 or 12 in this chart.

So, what went wrong?

Hard to say, really. As I mentioned, we had some temperature fluctuations in the incubator, due to some very cold nights, so that could have been the culprit. We heat with a wood stove here, so it does get cold in the wee hours once the fire burns out. Or the embryos just may not have been strong enough. I’m really not sure.

What is the lesson learned here? Life is not all rainbows and bunnies – or in this case, chicks. Not everything works out as planned and sometimes you do everything right but stuff still goes wrong. The crucial thing is to NOT GIVE UP! Yes, I’m disappointed, but this doesn’t mean I’ve failed as a farmer, homesteader or crazy chicken lady. 🙂

We will simply collect another couple dozen eggs and try again in a week or so.

Take the good with the bad. But no matter what – keep at it!

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