Friday, March 11, 2011

Egg Slumber Party

So, our eggs started to wiggle and pip [made little holes] on Tuesday. We were on egg watch! We decided to sleep in the room w/them so could keep an eye on them. Wednesday morning the first ones were hatched. Last night we had fluffy baby chicks to watch as well, so a second night on the floor. Even though we are still hoping a few more hatch, we've given up on sleeping down here. Other than waking up early, we didn't wake up, nor did we miss anything.

The brown thing is a towel covering the 'brooder' where the hatched chicks are being kept warm. It's really a lizard tank w/ heat lamp.
Three of my kids on the floor and I slept on the couch, lol. Okay, I DID check on the eggs several times throughout the last 2 nights.

Here are the fluffy chicks bedded down for the night. [5 of them, can you count them?]

chicken little

Well it's the end of day 22 of incubation [21 is 'standard'] and we have NINE! baby chicks. They are coming in all colors and sizes, from 'tiny' to 'humongous' and from 'tuxedo' to 'chipmunk.'

We also have 1 still working on hatching and 6 eggs just sitting there. [crossing fingers]

Waiting for these last ones has been very stressful for me! I am taking it harder than the kids! Here I am still up, sitting next to the incubator! Even so, this has been the BEST science project by far! I highly recommend it.

Soon our project will be done and our babies will go on to have happy chicken lives on the farm.

Here's some pictures of our babies:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And They Hatch! . . .

Okay, so we went to sleep in the living room. Egg # 12 was being so slow [which is totally normal] we decided to sleep. Around 4:45am we woke up to discover that he had 'zipped,' which is when they make the hole go half way [or more] around the egg shell. He was pushing on it, then resting. It looked like hatching was imminent! Across the incubator, during the night, egg #1 had quietly zipped around the underside of the egg! He pushed much harder and hatched out about 30 minutes ahead of Egg #12!! Because we were watching #12, I put my iphone on the window over #1 and got this great video of his hatch. He looks pretty pathetic, but already is fluffing up nicely along with his hatchmate. We have 5 more pips we are watching. . . With 14 more eggs to go This could take another 24-48 hours!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Sono!!

We are SOOOO excited we could BUST!! I decided that just before 'lockdown', I'd candle all the eggs and see what we could see. About 3 days before hatch date, incubation instructions state to stop turning the eggs, add water to the troughs for humidity, close the lid and DO NOT OPEN 'TIL CHRISTMAS After Hatch. This was Sunday, March 6, 2011 for us.
Candling, if you read earlier posts, is when you shine a bright light on one end of the egg, which allows you to see what's going on inside. I thought it a perfect send off into 'lockdown.'
To candle all 18 safely without damaging them, I wanted to be very organized. I set up the 'candle' [lamp w/ cardboard and foam], egg carton, 'refrigerator control egg,' and kids lined up sitting down quietly. We had some friends over, which made it extra special. I took 6 or so eggs at a time [in 3 batches, using the egg carton]. The eggs are numbered, so we could mark down what we saw in each egg:

This is our 'candle' a desk lamp w/ strong light and 'egg' surface.

The bright bottom is the air sack. You can see some veining and lastly, the dark stuff is a baby chick. Most of them actually moved too! It was too cool.

Our results: Out of 18 eggs.
10 had moving, living chicks
6 looked like the dark mass and air sack, no veining or moving [might just be dark colored eggs]
2 looked underdeveloped and so probably died early on
Not a bad % for our very first hatch. We'll have to see what actually hatches though, because you know what they say about counting chickens. . .

Stay Tuned!


We are very excited and unable to concentrate on much else! It's almost our baby chicks' due date and we're getting some action. At least enough to keep us coming back!. Early this morning I decided to just check on them since I was awake and several of the eggs were wiggling and jumpy!. Then at 8:40am egg #12 developed a little beak hole. The cool thing about egg #12 is that it was one of the 'maybe' too dark eggs- so now we have proff that they were indeed too dark, but really do have chicks in there!

We can see the little beak in there moving and it pokes at the hole every now and then. Not as much wiggling, but a little bit. I think maybe they prefer to wiggle in the stillness of the night, just like most babies. :)

Okay, it's now about 10:00pm tuesday. The chick has made the hole slightly bigger and doing a lot of chirping! We also got our second pip!! Egg #1 has just made a small crack!
We're sleeping in the living room with them so we can be close if any more action occurs.

Here's Egg # 12 as of 9:37 on 3/8/11:

And here's a little movie: [my daughter is reading a book to us as we watch the egg!]

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Shadow Knows. . .

that she's just hanging around, but I sure hope our elderly neighbor didn't see this! She might call animal control, lol.

I am remiss in my promise to upload photos of the pet rat that will be my son's science fair project. [He's going to attempt to train her to do tricks and make a video demo of it]
Since he has her pretty well tamed, he does let her run loose in his room frequently. Today he was outside and happened to see this image in his bedroom window:

I promise. Sweeter photos to follow. . .
Ok, today is day 14 [out of 21] and the cracked egg looks the same, so we're holding out hope for the little guy. Of course, there's the possibility it was a dud egg all along. Only time will tell. 1 more week. We have not done any more candling because of fear of more injury, but I'm considering. . . so vote in comments, should I look or not?? :)