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March 17, 2006

The Chicks have Hatched!

Spring is here and so are our eighteen chicks! This is our largest batch yet! Brian modified the incubator so he could monitor the humidity & temp which means we were able to have a much higher hatch rate. They are sooo cute too, and we have variety this time!! We had about 3 hatch a few days after hatching day...the late comers I suppose. We helped hatch two of the chicks, since they were clearly having trouble and were in the same position for nearly the entire day. In addition they were drying out which makes it harder, sometimes impossible, for them to hatch. They lived, so I suppose we are getting better at that sort of thing. In the past we have lost a few when trying to help them. But if they are stuck too long they will die anyway. Something we noticed though is usually they are already having genetic problems, such as crooked feet, or such which was obstructing the hatching process. Despite this these are very vivacious chicks, not sickly like we have seen in the past. So we will see how they end up. Only a few had feet problems.
I really wish our hens would LAY on their eggs, but as of yet we have not been able to get them to. They will lay and lay and lay eggs, sometimes all three hens laying the eggs in the same nest. The eggs totaling over 30 sometimes, but before a single hen will lay ON them for good, the possums will sniff them out. And speaking of we discovered they were eating only the white eggs....not the brown ones. How odd is that? Maybe they can only see the white ones at night ~ perhaps? Well just a theory anyway. We finally secured the coop and have the three hens and one rooster, in hopes they will lay on a batch for themselves. Is there any way to train a hen to sit on her own eggs? As silly as that sounds, we have never been able to get ONE hen to do such. It?s so bizarre to me.
We have about 30 more eggs still waiting for their hatch day. So who knows how many we will get from those. Baby chicks are soo cute to have around! Almost therapeutic!
Our chicken count is now...18 chicks, 3 hens and 5 roosters. Oh well just a little farm update since not much for the house has been going on, been really busy these few weeks with everything else. We do have a real estate agent coming by next Thursday to give us remodeling tips as to what to spend our money on and what not to. That ought to be informative.


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Comments (3)

bookyeti:

Awww...baby chicks are just the cutest!!! :)

Posted by bookyeti | March 18, 2006 3:17 PM

Posted on March 18, 2006 15:17

elsie:

you might try to get a phoenix or silkie type hen. my phoenix hen (very small) is an excellent mother. I think she taught the other hens "how to". The others are buff orps, barred rock, and araucanas. I don't think the barred rocks have set (though they are a great hen for eggs and meat) but the others have. The best moms though are the little ones. Perhaps the broody gene is bred out of the others? not sure. ymmv.

Posted by elsie | March 19, 2006 5:38 PM

Posted on March 19, 2006 17:38

Jessica:

Thanks for that info! I will have to keep that in mind next time we order chicks. Which we plan on doing one of these days to get a better variety.

Posted by Jessica | March 20, 2006 9:26 PM

Posted on March 20, 2006 21:26

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