On Wednesday afternoon the first of my chicks started to hatch. We'd heard them cheeping 24 hours earlier, but it was very exciting to see the eggs start to "pip". I was unsure if anything would hatch as this is the first time I've tried to hatch chicks.
Here is the very first chick, just out of it's egg.
A couple of hours later and 4 chicks had hatched (I'd already moved one into the brooder to give the other chicks some room). You can see 2 other chicks starting to chip their way out of their eggs. I had to help these last 2 chicks out of their eggs and they finally hatched at around 11pm. I left these 2 in the incubator with the final egg and put the other 4 chicks into the brooder to fluff up their feathers.
This is the chicks this afternoon, eating and drinking as they should be.
From the 7 eggs that I set in the incubator, 6 have hatched, the final egg was infertile, so for the 6 eggs that were fertile, I got 100% hatch rate. I've got 5 Maran chicks and 1 Sussex x Cream Legbar chick (the yellow chick). I'm not sure what sex the chicks are as yet, but according to one of my books, Maran male chicks have a white spot on their heads and are lighter in colour than the female chicks. Some of my chicks do have a spot on their heads, but not very big ones! I will have to wait until the chicks are bigger and fully feathered before I can sucessfully sex them. But in the meantime I will enjoy watching these chicks grow and develop over the coming weeks.