Friday, 22 April 2011

Hatching Chicks

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.

I was advised by a friend to put a woolly hat into the brooder for the chicks to snuggle up to. As the brooder is in the utility room, as you go passed the chicks, you can't but help but speak to the chicks, who are starting to be very mobile.
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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is great, I was planning on hatching chicks this year (buying pullets is so expensive now) but I keep my hens up at my Mother's cottage and she has decided to sell up!

Should I buy the cottage, the debate rages on......