Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chicks Hatching, Day Two

Let me start out by apologizing. I apologize to those of you who would rather see pictures of food or our seedlings, but instead find yet another post about chickens. I also apologize to those of you who have been waiting patiently to find out how many chicks Emma has by now.

I really did not mean to make you wait. Let me explain. As of my last post there was one chick out, one halfway out and one that had just poked a hole through it's shell. We went out again, after dark, only to find that the one who had been half way out of it's shell never made it all the way out and had died. Sam was with us and while I thought he might get really upset, he handled it very well. We removed the one who had passed and watched the egg (that had just had a hole in it earlier) wiggle as the chick made the hole larger. Here's that wiggly egg...

We went to bed hoping that this third chick would make it even thought it's next eldest sibling didn't. First thing this morning, I went out to the shed and peeked in on Emma. She was setting on whatever eggs/chicks were under her, but I didn't dare move her. We were a little concerned that she had stood on the chick who had died, killing it by mistake. I didn't want to increase the chances of that happening again. The suspense was killing me, so I shot an email to Jamey at school asking him if he looked under her before he left.

He wrote back that he had and there were three chicks fully out and moving around well. Yippee! Now the kids and I just had to wait until 4:30pm when Jamey got home so he could lift Emma for us. We barely gave him time to use the bathroom and drop his bag before we were all out the door once he got home.

Instead of three chicks out and about, there were four! Three very fluffy and one still damp. For those of you keeping close count, this left three eggs (we found one empty shell in the water this morning that was unfertilized and had evidently broke, which Emma then proceeded to eat- I know, weird). We took a little video of these four...

See the brave one climbing up the back right corner of the box?

According to the Broody Hen Wizard (how I have come to think of her), if you hold remaining eggs up to your ear and shake them gently, you can tell if there is a chick yet inside. If the egg makes a sloshing sound, it is unfertilized, and if it seems solid, there may be a viable chick inside. I tried this trick and found two to be sloshy and one to be solid. Not trusting my Broody Hen Wizardry, I put them back in the nest. I then picked up a chick for the kids to pet. We don't trust them to hold the chicks when they are this small for fear they might drop one if it gets too wiggly or pees on them.

Then, Jamey placed Emma back in her box. She immediately stepped over the clutch and onto one of the eggs, cracking it. Then, she started pecking at the crack and appeared to be eating it. At first we thought it must be one of the sloshy ones, but soon we saw a little beak inside and Emma gently pecked at the goo a couple more times and then settled on top of it. Then she started corralling the other chicks under her again.

Talk about a long explanation. Now, you are up to speed. Emma started out with nine eggs. One broke very early on. One hatched yesterday, one died yesterday, two hatched today, one was eaten today, one is hopefully hatching right now and two are unknowns. Pin It

1 comment:

  1. That's not bad at all -- 4 out of 9 -- especially if more are coming. Happy times!


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