Wednesday, April 1, 2015


the way the eggs arrived
17 eggs in an incubator, we were hoping for a 50% success rate

After a few weeks, Adrian candled the eggs and discovered only 2 out of 17 were viable.  We marked those eggs, and followed the protocol to have them hatch. On day 21, the day they were supposed to hatch, one came out!  Adrian & I were more fascinated than the kids.  We had to read all about how it normally happened, not to worry.  The first chick took 7 hours from pip to hatch.
I had NO IDEA you can hear a chick chirping before it emerges from the shell!!
I had NO IDEA they don't need any water or food for the first 24 hours!
I had NO IDEA a chick goes from a pathetic little wad of wet feathers... quite strong, running and eating within 36 hours!

We left the last fertilized egg in the incubator, without much hope.  We had never read anywhere that they can hatch past 21 days.  Then, on day 23, we started to hear chirping from inside the intact shell.  She emerged on day 24: 
making a break!

half way out!
pathetic little thing!

once we knew we only had 2 viable eggs in the incubator,
we brought 12 more home from the feed store
...quantity 3 each of 4 different breeds...

a bathtub is their home until they no longer need a heat lamp

days apart in age:
chick on the left is named Paul M. Sunday (or Paula if she's a hen).  She hatched on Sunday.
chick on the right is from the feed store, about 2 weeks old.
(No name, because we can't easily tell the 9 black ones apart.)
to get the full effect, add chirping x 12
these three are the most mellow of the crowd.
they let you pick them up easily,
and they just sat where I positioned them for the photo.

the kids call this guy "Penguin" because of his markings.

AFTER we bought 12 at the feed store, thinking half might be roosters, we found out they are usually about 90% hens.  
Our coop won't accommodate 14 chickens in the winter, so we might be giving away some hens in the fall...
....but we'll worry about that later.

Traveled to Idaho Falls for an uncle's funeral.
Not a happy reason to gather, but there is happiness in gathering!
The five siblings, from FL, WI, ID and MT!
Congrats on your engagement, Joel & Stephanie!!

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