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Incubating chicken eggs.

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This is the second in a four-post series about hatching eggs from our 5 deceased laying hens who fell victim to a predator, along with nearly all of their temporary flock-mates, during their transitional stay at Harmonious Homestead. For more, read The Absence of Chickens.

Introducing another partner in our quest to raise a new generation of chickens, the HovaBator incubator from City Folk’s Farm Shop.

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The HovaBator 1588 is a Styrofoam picture-window incubator with digital electronic controls and temperature and humidity sensors. It has a few optional add-ons, including the automatic egg-turner that we brought home with us.

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Right out of the box, the entire operation is intuitive and easy to assemble. The bottom tray goes down first, then the water reservoir, the hardware cloth hatching surface and then the lid. Our automatic egg-turner sits on top of the hardware cloth grate, its power cord exiting through a small, specifically-manufactured channel.

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The digital controls and sensor reading displays are all on the lid of the incubator, along with the large plexiglass window.

To get the eggs started, I searched the internet and found quite a few informative sites about hatching chicken eggs. Instead of giving you a step-by-step myself, since this is my first time endeavoring to hatch eggs, I’ll point you to some resources in the next post of this series.

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Event announcement! Home Ec: March 25

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HomeEc is a monthly, themed potluck-style gathering started in Toronto by Joel and Dana of Well Preserved. Each month, attendees bring a dish to share that meets the monthly challenge and have a chance to chat with like-minded people about whatever is top of mind. Columbus is the first off-campus participant, and there is a virtual component for those who participate from home.

Last month, the challenge was root vegetables. We had an enthusiastic crowd and stimulating conversation covering many topics, food-related and not. To see my co-host Rachel’s recap of how it all went down in Columbus, head over to Harmonious Homestead. (Have you seen all of the press Rachel and her homestead have been getting lately? Spend a little time over at her site to read about the projects they have underway!)

If you haven’t joined us for HomeEc yet, this is the perfect month to cut your teeth. Maple Syrup is an ingredient that most of us will be quite familiar with, and this challenge will certainly spur many mouth-watering ideas for dishes to share. Our plans for a monthly signature cocktail, following Toronto’s lead, should be easily accomplished with the March theme!

Come on down to ReHab Tavern and enjoy tasty libations, delicious food and great company. As always, join the conversation and RSVP on Facebook.

(To read more about the idea behind HomeEc, head here