Thursday, 23 February 2017

Hatch day success

The chicks were due on Tuesday, but there was absolutely no sign of any eggs hatching, in fact, they didn't even pip. I felt quite low, storm Doris was starting to arrive at our smallholding and it was too cold, wet and windy to do much outside. I was getting a heavy cold and a lack of chicks just added to my feeling fed-up. On Wednesday morning I was feeling a little despondent and as though I had done something or not done something that had caused the eggs a problem, as it turns out it was quite the opposite.

By nine in the morning one egg had pipped and by mid-morning that a little chick hatched. 

It was early afternoon before a second chick hatched, a bonny little white Jersey Giant.

Then, in late afternoon, the incubator seemed to come alive, it started looking like a popcorn maker with chicks hatching one after another and by the time we went to bed there were nine chicks jostling about in the confines of the incubator. When I got up briefly at 3am, there were twelve chicks and when I got up for the day at 6am, I found what I think is fourteen chicks. 

It's become quite difficult to count how many chicks there are, partly because of they are all similar colours, but also because they keep moving around. In the moments that they are all resting or asleep I start counting and then suddenly one pops up from under a little heap of baby birds and they all move around again and so, I lose count. This is a good problem to have, I am delighted with the hatch so far.

As I type there are six eggs that haven't hatched, at least two of them have pipped, but a pipping is no guarantee of a chick. They sometimes pip and then become exhausted by the effort required to do that, so die. Sometimes they get much further into the hatching process and then die. Hatching seems an incredible process and I am fascinated by it.

I filmed one little bird emerging from its shell and included it in yesterday's vlog.

It is much too windy to work outside today (unless of course you absolutely have to), so I have the perfect excuse to sit and watch these little bundles of fluff as they dry their first feathers and learn to use their legs. And of course, first of all, I'll make a nice cuppa!

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  1. That's a really good hatch rate that you achieved. Which incubator do you use.....I am thinking of getting another.

    1. It's a Brinsea Octagon 20 with cradle, but not the auto-humidity thingy. I'm going to get a 2nd one too so I can hatch ducks at the same time. Best hatch rate yet, but probably just lucky with this one. Not expecting it to stay that good a rate!


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