Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hello Again!

So it has been a while since I have posted and hopefully I will get around to filling you all in on what has been going on around here.

Recently we decided to let one of our hens sit on a clutch of eggs and let them hatch naturally rather than purchasing baby chicks.  A hen will sit on a nest and on day 21 you can expect the eggs to begin hatching.  I had been out of town on one of my football camp trips with Davis.  As I usually do when I have been out of town, I began making my rounds to check on the farm.  Dogs - check, horses - check, new baby chick - check.  If the 7 eggs in the clutch only one had hatched and it is the cutest little thing!  I left the other eggs alone hoping that the hen would go back to the next but unfortunately that never happened.  From all I have read, if the eggs don't hatch within a day or so of each other, they are not viable.  Last night, Christian and I planned to launch the duds into the woods to return to them food chain.  As I gathered the eggs from the nest, he stood armed with his lacrosse stick, his preferred launching devise of choice.  Suddenly I heard a small faint "peep" coming from one of the soon to be projectiles.  Could it be?

After carefully checking the other eggs, Christian quickly went to work on his mission and we headed inside with a wiggling, peeping brown orb.  As I have done countless times since aquiring chickens I consulted my favorite resource:  There I posted a frantic message asking for help.  Christian and I took turns holding the egg in our hands to keep it warm while typing.  Before I even hit send I felt a "tap" and when I lifted my finger I saw a small hole in the egg.

Boil water!  Call a doctor STAT!  I don't know nuthin' about birthin' no chickens!  Help BYC!

The kind and experienced folks on this web forum immediately walked me through what to do.  They also included some what NOT to do's which we had already done.  A small container lined with paper towels sitting on a heating pad, wet paper towels on one side to provide humidity and the egg on the other.  Careful not to let the egg get wet but humid enough so the membrane does not dry out and shrink wrap the chick as it is trying to emerge.  Seriously - who would have known?!

The shoebox sized container sitting on my bedside stand, I finally dozed off around mid-night seeing no progress.  Lights on and off through the night, still hearing peeping but still seeing no progress, I was not very hopeful.

Around 7am this morning, I noticed more and more peeping and suddenly a crack.  Over the next hour the chick proceeded to tap away a perfect circle around the circumference of the egg.  Suddenly with little grace a wet black chick flopped half out of the egg.  After sitting there for a moment, it wiggled and writhed it's way free of the egg.  How cool is that!

David is out of town at a conference so I texted him photos and video along the way.  I think he was very impressed until the last picture to which he quickly replied "Who that's ugly!"  As a first time "hen" I take that personally!

A small "peep" or hole let me know it was time.

Delivery room

Chick cracks the shell in a perfect shell around the egg.

No pretty but it is ours!

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