Monday, May 6, 2013

Hatching Day (Round 3) part 3

Things started to finally quiet down last night and it looked like the last of the chicks were out the door.  I opened the incubator and quickly moved each one out and into the brooding box.  They settled in quickly.  Chicks sometimes need to be shown their food and water.  Each one was carefully taken to the water bowl to have his/her bill ceremoniously dipped into the font for the first drink.  Once this baptism was completed they proceeded to drink on their own.
The heat lamp is set to keep them nice and cozy for a few days.  Over time it will be turned on less and less until they can keep themselves warm without too much additional assistance.  Since the majority of the chicks hatched between 3 and 4 am.  So I don't really know which egg they came out of.  There are a few however that I did see.

The solid fuzzy chick in the lower left hand corner of the above picture, is actually very silvery grey like her mom, Missy.  The little lightly stripey chick standing near her, is Molly's little boy.

Inky's little girls
Speaking of stripey, a couple of the boys are very stripey indeed.  I suspect they may end up looking like their father, Sandy. One of them is already making it known that he's the big chick in town.  Fortunately, the majority are pretty laid back and just let him squawk.  He was the first to be named: Buster.
Big Buster

***Side note: Have you ever heard the expression 'as rare as hen's teeth'?  It's true!  Before the chick hatches, she develops a hardened cap on the tip of her bill.  This cap allows her to peck and break free of the shell.   She starts out by pecking into the airsack at the tip of the egg, then pecking a breathing hole in the shell.  After resting a bit, she gradually pecks around the inside end of the egg forming perforations which allows her to break free.  This is an exhausting process.  Some of our chicks took nearly 24 hours to completely break free.  If  you look at the tip of this baby's bill you can still see her hen's tooth.

Now a little humor: after getting everyone tucked in for the night, I still had seven or eight unhatched eggs in the incubator.  This morning another little boy hatched out and another egg had a breathing hole pecked open.  Makes me wonder if any of the others may hold surprises as well...stay tuned!

1 comment:

Starwood Quilter said...

What an interesting blog! I loved learning about the chicks and enjoyed seeing your signs of spring, which have come earlier than mine.