Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Hatching Chicks

Last month, Gabe incubated his first eggs for 21 days, and we watched them all hatch.  We gave them all up to friends when they were over a week old, so as not to stress them with a move.
Gabe's hens producing beautiful eggs.
Lydia taking a photo of incubating eggs carefully selected by Gabe.  She helped turn them quickly each day.  Gabe was obsessed with the temperature (3-5 thermometers) and humidity registering on the hygrometer.  A real mother hen, he is.  His conscientiousness paid off though.
100% fertile - two Black Copper Marans pipped first, one Rhode Island Red, and two Olive Eggers - Black Copper Marans and Americauna cross.

Close up of the chick pipping.


Glimpse of the first BCM and the second hatching at 2AM.  Wow, can they make loud peeps before they are even hatched!
Birth
It is work to thrust off that strong shell.
Fluffing out under the heat lamp.
Rhode Island Red
Such babies those first 12-24 hours.
Marans
Rhody Red
This one decided to be "full term" 21 days, pipped about 12 hours after the others hatched, and zipped out of the shell quickly just hours later.
Olive Egger hatched the next day, but was a step above the rest in development from then on!
Five Chicks
Marans and Olive Eggers
Two and a half weeks later, this little Red is a favorite by the new caretakers, enjoying some March sunshine.
Gabe is anxious to hatch a big clutch soon in our new home from beauties like this.  He has negotiated a dozen of BCMs from a nearby islander too, when he secures a ferry ride before our final move.

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