New life has come forward to the My Prairie Home farm. Back on March 22 2011, I started gathering eggs for hatching. At this time of the year my chicken had really shutdown their laying and a cold snap had made us aware the winter wasn't done with us. So, I gathered what I could and often so the cold wouldn't get to the egg. In many cases, I was reaching under the hen to gather her eggs she just layed. As I placed the few eggs I was able to gather into the incubator I would label with the day gathered and an X on the opposite side. Why the X? Well, each day required at least two rotation of the eggs, the train of thought is so the embryo doesn't stick to the shell and interferes with normal grow of the chick within and so the X is just an aid. After all the hen is doing the same thing many times as day. The temperature inside the incubator needs to about 101 degree and the humidity 50-60 percent during the 21-22 days of development. After a few days in the incubator I did my first check on the development of the embryo. It is called candling and one is looking for the embryo starting to show up as a shadow.
Look close, you can see the embryo showing up as a shadow towards the top of the inside of the egg. Now, moving ahead we are at twenty four days after starting and we have life coming forth. Yesterday morning around 6am I did my first check to make sure all was OK. Then around 7am while in the room that is acting as a nursery, I notice a slight peep. Well, if you know me, you know I have a hearing problem due to being a military small arms weapon instructor. So, to check out what I thought I heard I looked into the incubator and sure enough one of the first eggs had a small hole. I didn't notice any other eggs at this time with cracks or holes, so it was just this one for now. After about an hour I checked again and the hole was much larger and two other eggs now had cracks in their shells. By night we had four of the five eggs that were first placed into the incubator. Did the fifth not make it or is it just late.
Fifth in the group!
This morning I have four fluffy chicks look up at me and peeping... So damn cute! And the fifth eggs is working on hatching as I write this blog. The chicks have been moved to a homemade brooder so they can get up and move around and interact with climbing over eggs, eggs shells, etc... They are all responding to my voice and my hand as I reach into the brooder. I have to say it again.. they are so damn cute.