At last! the chicks are hatching as we speak! I have found it hard to tear myself away from the incubator this weekend. It’s quite gripping! Not to mention very entertaining watching them wobble about, trying to find their feet.
Two chicks had “pipped” by the time we woke up on Saturday morning.
They took a while to hatch. A great big golden leghorn chick was the first out around tea time.
It was followed not long after by a black, pop-eyed Vorwerk chick with who popped out around midnight.
In the meantime two others (both Vorwerks) had pipped…
These two Vorwerks made it into the world about 5 and 6am (I estimate!) so by the morning there were four. Three other Vorwerks have hatched during the day and I’m currently waiting on three others that have pipped this afternoon/evening. Our friends and their children have been round today to share in the excitement so it’s been great fun.
One little chick hatched in a bit of a gooey mess. There was a lot of gunk left in the egg afterwards and I had little panic that it hadn’t absorbed its yolk. Thankfully it was soon up on its feet and stumbling about like all the others. There was nothing attached to its vent and as it seemed to be OK generally I felt a bit better. Having asked about on Backyard Chickens forum, apparently this is normal and nothing to worry about. Phew! You can’t tell it from the others now.
So 7 have hatched and I expect the three pipped eggs to hatch too. That’s 10 out of 18, more than the 50% hatch rate expected which is a great start. I think I’d be a bit disappointed if I don’t get a few more as they’ve done so well this far. I think this is shaping up to be a great hatch! I’d just like a few more Leghorns, that poor big yellow one is looking a bit like the ugly duckling by itself! However, unless it’s my imagination, I have a suspicion that one of the big white eggs has been rocking a bit recently… Fingers crossed!
Tomorrow I’ll quickly popped the chicks that have already hatched into a brooder, a nice warm space where they can dry out (if not already) and have some water. You are supposed to leave the chicks in the bator at least 24 hours before removing, but whilst the big yellow chick is 24 hours old, some are still quite young so I’ll go the full 48 hours from the first one born. It takes some self control though as it’s getting crowded and a little messy in there now, I’m not sure I’ll wait until the evening.
Tomorrow, there should be some more chicks to meet and I will hopefully be able to post some better photos, until then… I’m going to get some sleep.
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Latest update: Another Vorwerk chick hatched 11.30pm!