Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Making Chicks

This past weekend, our first ever attempt at hatching chicks using an incubator was SUCCESSFUL! Of the nine fertile eggs remaining, after two candlings, all eggs hatched and we have nine beautiful chicks- six Ameraucana- two white and four standard, two Orpington/Maran cross in dark and lavender colors, and one dark (possibly blue/black) Orpington. 

It all began with a pip on Friday night

First chick drying off on Saturday morning

Second chick just out of the egg at 9:45, Saturday morning

First and second chicks snuggling together

First chick, fluffy and hanging out in the brooder by early Saturday afternoon

Fifth Ameraucana chick just about to hatch

It's throwing out a wing...

...then a foot...

...a final rush of energy to burst forth from the shell...

...Welcome little chick!

By 7:30 Sunday morning all the eggs had hatched and the chicks were ready to move from the (st)incubator to the brooder to dry off and snuggle with their fellow "siblings". 

Newly hatched Maran/Orpington cross

Orpington chick

Lavender Orpington/Maran cross

Freshly hatched chick in Jared's hand

Maran/Orpington egg, post hatch

One of the Maran/Orpington eggs wiggled around in the incubator for a day and a half with not so much as a pip but was hatched out and ready to go on Sunday morning. The other Maran/Orpington was in a partially pipped egg for about that same amount of time however they probably hatched within minutes of each other.

On Sunday evening, they were all vaccinated for Marek's, along with some of our older chickens who hatched on our farm and had yet to be vaccinated.  

It just so happens that our Blue Orpington, Pencil, decided she was really and truly broody so Sunday evening she was relocated to a brooder in the south yard to prepare for chicks. We let her have one egg to keep her sitting and occupied overnight. Monday afternoon, Jared and I gave all nine chicks to her for raising. She was clucking instantly, lifting up her breast for them to crawl under and be snuggly warm. Once they were all under her, the peeping ceased and it was completely silent. We checked on everyone yesterday afternoon and all seems to be well. The oldest chick keeps poking it's head out under Pencil's breast taking in the scenery, while the others pop out to eat and then head back under for sleeping. Pencil has yet to leave the nest, so I'm guessing she's waiting for the weather to stop being so windy and rainy before she leaves the chicks to grab a bite to eat.

Eggs in the Brinsea Incubator

In just about a week our second batch of 25 incubated eggs is due to hatch. Jared and I candled them on Sunday evening and chose not to discard any eggs, though there were some whose development looked questionable. We'll candle again this Saturday evening and remove any eggs that aren't obviously fertile.

Despite what feels like unending rain -and wind- chicks are always a definite sign of Spring on our farm.


No comments:

Post a Comment