Thursday, July 21, 2011

Before the Fluff

Yesterday turned out to be a heck of a day.  All my plans for things to be done were completely shot, as we stopped to witness the birth of three new chicks.  The first was Walnut, named by my son, and posted about here.  That turned out not to be the end, though.  All three eggs that were left and were viable were peeping and tapping up a storm under Black.  Two of the three had pipped.  Since the saying is "peep, then pip, then hatch", (maybe that's just my saying??) we only had to wait.  So we waited.  And slowly, very slowly, the babies started to emerge.

Unfortunately, Black started to notice them.  She went from being a docile broody whom I could touch and move and check under and feed to being a madwoman.  She went for the eggs like it was breakfast after the longest night in the world.  So, as the babies started to emerge, I had to bring them in.

Enter Robin:

Robin was halfway out of his/her shell when Black noticed and started to peck at him/her like an insane person.  Robin was safely removed and brought inside to a lovely dampish tupperware box under the heat lamp so she/he could finish emerging in safety.

She/he soon left his/her eggshell behind and started to totter around.

As Robin dried off, Dandelion started to emerge, but Black was having none of it.  I went out to check on her later that day, and found her pecking again.  This time the chick did not get that far.  She/he was also removed to the lovely tupperware lair.

We all got to watch.  Despite my son saying that it was "stinky", it was amazing to see, and I know my kids were awed.  I was too, come to think of it.

It's a chick!!  It took Dandelion quite a few hours to get out of the top and then quite a long time more to get unattached to the egg.  But she/he kicked the bottom off like a trooper.  And once he/she was free, he/she made such a racket he/she woke up my daughter (yeah, it was late by the time Dandelion was all the way out).  Once Dandelion was pretty much dry, out he/she went to be with Walnut and Robin.   They snuggled like the little babies they are.

There's one egg left.  It pipped late last night, and knowing what Black has been doing, I was tempted to remove it.  But since I have no incubator, it would mean me sitting up all night in a hot room with the heat lamp on and a misting bottle at the ready, making sure the baby was warm and damp enough to push it's way out.  Since I'd spent A LOT of yesterday doing the same thing, I wasn't really looking forward to it.  I opted to sleep.  However, I did just check on Black, and she's serene, and the baby has only cracked enough to stick out a nose.  So not much progress was made, and Black's none the wiser right now.  I can keep my eye on her from here.

As to Black?  Unless she proves otherwise with this last hatch, I am relegating her to the "goody broody, BAD mommy" file.  I don't know what it is about the hatching eggs that she hates so much.  She loves to sit on them, but once they start to hatch, they are intruders.  Maybe they're wrecking her zen, what do I know?  I'll keep you posted on that last baby! 
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  1. Oh my gosh, what great photos! How exciting for you to experience. I can't wait for the day we have homegrown chicks on our farm.

  2. Love the photo journaling here, it must have been a real sweet moment to watch :)


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