Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our First First Generation Chick-adees!

We have been so blessed to be able to watch our little one eyed chicken hatch her first chicks!  It all started on Friday when Billy got home from work.  He found this:
 I thought I might explode with excitement.  Little did I know it was an arduous process that would take 24 HOURS!
 We continued to go check on this little black beauty.  I was so worried that it needed our help!  It looked awful!!!!!!  And seemed to "die" regularly!  

 Momma just sat there and watched her offspring struggle and did nothing but peck it occasionally when it would be still for too long.

 Truly this was a disturbing site.  I just knew it was a goner :(  But then Billy brought me this:


It's like a little miracle!  The next time Billy headed out to check on it`he looked up and saw THIS!!!!!!
 WHAT?!?!?!  Where did it come from!?  How did we miss it hatching?!  Ecstatic is too small of a word!  Hahaha!  I was elated and so proud and happy for her!  We aren't sure how old it was but probably a couple of days!
And look.  That little scrawny struggling thing turned into a little black puff!  We feather sexed it and it's a pullet!  Yay!!!!  She is super tiny compared to the yellow fluff ball so I'm wondering if that one is a cockerel?  We shall see....

Billy did a lot of reading about little things that were going on and concerns that would arise and we learned so much.  Like how she rotates the eggs!  It's amazing!  She will rotate the eggs on the outside to the middle and turn them.  When they are three days away from hatching she will stop turning them so that the chick can get into hatching position.  This is so that they are able to absorb the rest of the yolk b/f hatching.  It said that she will push out rotten eggs or eggs in which the chick has died.  Well, the next time Billy went out he saw that she had pushed one out.  So he tossed it, assuming it was a rotten egg.  It wasn't.  It was a chick....and it was alive!!!!!  :(  The shell busted off but it was breathing and peeping.  So Billy put it under the hen and hoped for the best.  When we went back out it was dead.  We were so sad.  We decided not to intervene any more.  She had proven to be a good momma so we would let her deal with whatever happened from then on.
The next day there was another egg cracked.  Another chick! YAY!  The shell was coming off but there was a problem.
 For some reason it couldn't break through the membrane?  I thought for sure that she would break it for it but that one didn't make it.  I wonder if we could have helped it.....but I think staying out of it is really the best thing to do....I think.

 We are two for four.  Not the best odds.  There has been a break in hatching and her two little ones want to get out and play!  It fills my heart with joy to watch them walk around together! :)

 And here's the proud papa.  I love him!  He has spurs the size of North Dakota but he isn't the least bit aggressive with us!  Billy took the other chickens out of the pen when little blackie hatched but he left the rooster in.  He has done a great job.
 Isn't he gorgeous!?

 And here's the happy family.  Awwwww!!!

 The kids are out there watching them all the time.  It's better than TV!  This afternoon the yellow puff caught a bug!  If you look closely you can see it in her mouth.

  Well, little sis wanted a piece!  She chased her around and around momma hen.

 Finally she caught her and it became a game of tug-of-war!  Hilarious!

 But there's a problem.  While they are out enjoying the 80 something weather, there are 14 more eggs waiting to hatch!  They need to be above 92 degrees!  :/  Silly me!  I couldn't figure out why she wasn't sitting on her eggs!?  I told Billy that I was afraid she was losing her broodiness (this can happen).  Billy figured it out right away.  The little chicks can get out but the can't get back in!!!!  Yikes, I hope I didn't mess things up.  He put everybody back in and set a board across the door to keep the little peepers in!!!!
So hopefully more will hatch!!!  We need more chickens as our once abundant and full of variety flock is down to two 3 year old stewing hens and one year old buff.  That doesn't keep this family in eggs by a long shot!  I'll update when there's more news....crossing our fingers that it's all GOOD!  :)


YaYa and Pops said...

Oh my goodness! Aren't they sooooo cute!

Jessi -in love with her family of four said...

This is just amazing! Just beautiful!!!


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