Tuesday, February 21, 2017

we had chicks! aka: don't count your chickens before they hatch

Sometime towards the end of last year, Kade mentioned to his grandpa (Bart's dad), that he would like to learn about egg incubation and hatching chicks.  So, the middle of December, Grandpa Zen gathered an incubator, egg turner, and eggs so that we could watch them hatch and have baby chicks for a few weeks.
After 3 long weeks of incubating them, we had our first "pip!"  Sadly, that's as much as that egg hatched.
But, within a few hours, more eggs started to hatch!  It took some serious patience, because even once an egg pipped, it was hours before the chick hatched.  It was days from the first hatch to the last.  (I'm not sure I have the patience to hatch chicks again!)

It was pretty exciting for all of us to come check in the incubator every hour or two to see what had changed.
I posted the above picture on Instagram because it was so exciting to have our eggs hatching.  Within a few hours of taking this picture, however, it became clear that this little chick was in trouble.  Now, I know they say to NEVER help a chick out of their egg, and I know I'm no chick expert, but the membrane was turning hard and the little chick was going to be glued in the egg if we didn't intervene.  So, Bart performed a very delicate surgery and freed the chick from her egg.  We weren't sure if she was going to make it after all of that, but she ended up being one of our healthiest chicks.  And Everly named her Minnie.

We didn't have a very good hatch rate. With 14 eggs, only 6 hatched.  We had 3 fluffy yellow ones: Minnie, Tallulah, and Julie. We had one brown one, Odell Peckham Junior (ha, ha, get it?), and two black ones, Garret, and Curry (as in Stephen, not chicken curry).

This is the only picture I have of all 6 of them, and you can see the sickly black one. That's Curry.  He only lived a few days.  Julie had a deformed leg, and only lived about a week.  The kids were all sad when they died, but it was probably a good lesson for them.  

 Everly loved the chicks and always wanted to hold them.  She would go downstairs to see them multiple times each day.  It was so fun to watch her.

All of the kids liked watching them, making sure they were fed and had enough water.  We all liked watching how fast they grew up and how much they changed from day to day. 

 Here's what they looked like the day we sent them to live on our friends farm. I think they were almost 3 weeks old.  They look completely different than they did those first few days!  The kids were sad to say goodbye to them, but I'm sure they are much happier on the farm than in this cardboard box.  Maybe we'll have to incubate eggs again sometime.  The baby chicks were definitely easier to take care of than the baby ducks we once had!

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