We were sent some gorgeous hatching pictures by Mia and her daughter via our Instagram account. We just had to find out more! Mia told us all about her hatching experience and why Brinsea are her incubators of choice.

‘I first got into keeping chickens shortly after the loss of our baby in January 2019. We already have a wonderful, animal-loving daughter, but were hit with the unexpected loss of baby no.2 when we found out I had an ectopic pregnancy – I needed emergency surgery to save my life so our daughter still had a mummy.

My fiancé and I had previously spoken about keeping a few chickens, but had not acted on it. During the grieving process he asked if we should just go for it and get some point of lay hens – that way I’d have something to focus on and a reason to leave the house every day. So, we did just that, and in April 2019 we went to Durham Hens and picked up four wonderful little hens. When people mentioned chicken “math” I didn’t think much of it, but we now own 29 chickens!

Over the time of keeping chickens I’ve seen many people hatching their own. I always fancied giving it a go myself, so I started looking into Brinsea incubators, as Durham Hens are a distributor of them. I read many reviews, watched a ton of YouTube videos of people hatching using Brinsea and looked up Brinsea’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. I saw nothing but people speaking highly of Brinsea and how easy they were to use. Ease was the main thing for me – having a two-year-old child means the only time I get to myself is once she’s gone to bed for the night, but I also wanted to include her in the process of hatching our own to add to the flock. We spent time together watching videos by Brinsea on the set up of the Mini II Advance, and when it arrived we read through the instruction manual carefully.


Mia’s Mini Hatch

When it came to setting up the incubator I was a little worried of doing something wrong, due to my dyslexia and it being my first time hatching, but it wasn’t difficult, thanks to the menu being easy to navigate and each setting automatically showing after confirming your choice. The added symbols and breakdown of what each one means in the instruction manual was a great help too. Throughout the hatching process I found changing any settings easy, as the control panel remembers everything you’ve input. The external water filling station was a great help too, as I could top up the water without risk of any eggs being knocked, and the clear surrounding plastic gave us the best view of our little chicks making their way out. We put in 7 fertilised eggs, 6 bought from Durham Hens and one of our own, which we added just to see if our cockerel had been doing his job. To our surprise, on hatch day we were delighted to see 7 beautiful chicks.

We can’t wait to fill the incubator with eggs from our own flock and see the amazing process happen all over again!’

Mia Lathan



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