Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hatching Our Own Chicks

Just in time for Easter, we have baby chicks!  The first one began to hatch on day 21, just as the books said.  Three weeks to the day of placing the eggs into the incubator, a hatchling.  I don't know what I thought would happen, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I guess I was expecting all of them to quickly pop out of their shells, almost simultaneously.  Wrong.  I have learned so much through this experience.  The first sign of hatching, the first crack on the egg, is called Pip.  From this point, the chick works her way around the shell, slowly pecking their way to freedom.  This process can take an entire day or 24 hour period.  When they have reached all the way around the egg, this is called Zip.  So from Pip to Zip, it can take a long time.  Who knew?  Below is the first egg that Pipped.
I watched and watched, and watched.  For hours.  Not much progress was made in those first 10 hours of so.  It is kind of like watching paint dry!  And then, when the house was silent and sleeping, out she popped!

They are wet and scrawny, and flailing about wildly.  It is not what you picture when you think of a baby chick.  And then, several hours later, they are soft and fluffy, just as a baby chick should be.
I didn't think we would have any more, but 24 hours later, we had pip on 2 more eggs.
One of them took only about 6 hours from Pip to Zip.   This pretty little buff chickadee arrived to the world.
Several hours later, another cutie arrived.
These three are all doing great!  Very active.  Eating, drinking, chirping away.  Three soft, fluffy balls of Spring!
Yesterday morning, a full 48 hours after the first one hatched, we had number 4 Pip.  This one went from Pip to Zip much faster. 

This is the only one that I got to watch the final stages of the hatching process.  I was disappointed though when I popped out of the room for a minute and she emerged while I was gone!

This one seemed to take much longer to perk up, and become active.  I left her in the incubator longer than the others.
This has been fascinating to witness for all of us.  Noah rushes straight to the incubator in the morning, and after school to see what has transpired in his absence.  He has been very interested in the process from day one.  I have made it a point to explain and teach along the way, so that he learns from this experience.  A little Science project at home. 
Christopher next door came to see the babies.
And Greg and I have both spent a good deal of time gazing above the brooder at this miracle of life.
The 4th baby is in the brooder now.  But he is the weakest of the lot.  He hasn't gained his balance as quickly, and seems to be falling on his back a lot.  I am not confident that he/she will make it.  Time will tell.
Three of them are spoken for.  There are still 4 more eggs in the incubator, but they show no signs of Pip yet.  I will keep them in for another day or two. 
Yesterday afternoon I found this darling tea towel and aqua candle on the little table on my front porch.  I had a feeling it was from my friend Jane.  Jane lives next door, she is Christopher's Mama.  She knows how much I love my chickens!  I went over to see her last night, and she said yes, the towel and candle were from her.  Isn't it cute!
Never, ever, when I became a chicken keeper, did I think I would have a Rooster.  And accidently, I do.  Never did I anticipate hatching my own eggs.  I bought the incubator and didn't know what to expect.  This has been an educational experience for me as well.  I have learned so much.  I documented this in both photos and videos.  I have been posting the videos on IG and fb.  I told Noah that he could help Grandma do this, and he could sell the chicks and earn some money.  We will share the incubator with my granddaughters, so that they too can experience this miracle of life, and they can also earn some money by selling the chicks. 
I will do it again.  For sure!  And I have a feeling that the excitement will not wane. 
Happy Easter to all of you.  We will be going to my Mom's for the afternoon.  Hoping for a nice sunny day to enjoy the fellowship of family,  a boat ride, and an Easter Egg hunt outside. 
XO  Kris


Mereknits said...

How exciting and such a fun Easter surprise. You have taught your grandchildren so much with this amazing experience. I am in awe of the whole process. Happy Easter to you and your whole family Kris.

Betsy said...

What a fun and exciting Easter weekend for your family. New chicks and the miracle of life. I wish I could have been sitting right next to you experiencing every moment. I will ever hoping the 4th little chick survives. Cute gifts too. Have fun today my friend. How nice to have your family so close to play with. Happy Easter!

podso said...

What an amazing experience for you all! And at Easter. I remember watching chicks hatch at a science museum in Chicago when I was a kid. Now I wonder how there seemed to always be one hatching.

Teresa Kasner said...

What an educational and memorable Easter you made for Noah and yourselves! Did the girls get to see any of the action? Thank you for sharing the whole process. I showed my DIL Kristi and Caleb (she was more excited than he was.. lol).

❀.•❤•.✿.•❤ Happy Easter! ❀.•❤•.✿.•❤

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Gracie Saylor said...

What perfect timing! Thanks for letting us in on the excitement, Kris! I hope you and your family have a happy Easter celebration :) xxxxxx

Jeanna said...

Happy Easter, Kris. I've enjoyed following this story on IG. So exciting for you and Noah.

Lynne said...

I loved hearing about your little chicks! I hope they all stay healthy for you. What a great teaching tool for the kids. Hope you had a nice Easter!

NanaNor's said...

Dear Kris, Happy Happy Birthday my friend! I hope you are having a marvelous day and doing something special for yourself. I went and got a pedi and mani today; usually I only get a pedi but felt like I need some care on my hands too. I hope you are doing something as fun. I love seeing your chicks and remember when hubby and I hatched five-I had the sweetest Road Island Red that would follow me everywhere. The rest were roosters and I soon got rid of them before the neighbors got rid of me. So much fun. Love the tea towel your neighbor gave you. When I tell our dog Hunter that his peeps are coming over, he rushes to the window and whines til they get here. Sending you a big birthday hug.

Debbie said...

What a fun, fun experience this must have all been for Noah. And for you too. I know I too would have been fascinated by it all. Hope your having a good week!