Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chick Update!

We are up to 11 chicks!! I am going to start another incubation of dominiquers and Ameraucanas.

Check out these links to our youtube account with videos of a hatching chick and candling eggs:

Also, Here are some close-ups... The chicks were absolutely loving the attention! Well, some more than others anyway. You know, some of them just wanted to sleep. They do that a lot. Just fall asleep at weird times. But they're babies so I reckon that's what babies do. Anywho, I bet you want to see some pics... so I am going to stop rambling on about what goes through my mind.

Look at those wing feathers coming in! This little guy hatched out Feb. 14th... along with most of the others
The one on the far left is my little banty. So sweet and little.

More of that sleeping I was talking about. I'm tellin ya, it comes unannounced.

Uno, Dos, Tres, Quotro! 

That's all for now f-f-f-f-folksss.

Anna .V.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Carefree On The Wings Of Me

Hey yall... for the past 20 days I have faithfully and eagerly been turning eggs for 18 days, candling them, and waiting. Tomorrow is the first hatching date, and I will soon have 25 little chicks. 
I started off putting 30 eggs in the incubator but after I candled them, I found that only around 25 were going to hatch. (I have a Little Giant still air incubator) Keeping the temperature at 100 degrees F and the humidity at 63%... hatching day is almost here! Right now, I'm hatching a mixture of chicks. I have some various bantam eggs, Dominique/Barred Rock mix, Silkie, Buff Orphingtons, and I think that's about it. 
So before I put the eggs in the incubator, I marked them with Xs and Os, X on one side and O on the other.
One morning while I was in the kitchen cleaning up, Victor, my 5 yr. old brother, kept calling for me while he was standing at the incubator. I was clueless as to what he wanted until he hollered "A chick is hatching!" It was only day 14 of the incubation, so I went to see what he was talking about. Was it a hatching chick? No... just a smallest crack in the egg where our travel to Durham had taken place and we roughed through a few speed bumps. As you could imagine, all 7 of us kids... and momma, were all yelling "DADDY!" All turned out to be good though. 

Like This:

The markings in this pic show what the breed is

O on this side and X on the other

Because of my tendency to make lists and keep my calender very updated, I made a calender to show when to stop turning my eggs, when they will hatch and anything else I might would have thought of. It's a great way to keep up with what happened and what you noticed on certain days.

I tried to post a video I had taken that shows me candling the eggs and the chick moving inside of it... but I haven't quite figured out how. All you experienced bloggers, feel free to help! 

Okay, enough of the technical side of things. I'm sure you would like to know how it's going. As I am typing this, I can hear chicks peeping from the dining room, where I have the brooder box set up, and also from the living room, where the incubator is. There are 9 little biddies out and hoping to have 15 more by the end of the month. I put some eggs in a little after the first ones, so they will hatch a week later.

One that hatched was silver...And the cutest thing ever!  Now he's grey, and just as cute. 
Another one of the chicks that hatched had a "rough navel" I had no clue what this was before this hatch. I'll try to explain it the best I can. Basically, the egg yolk is what the growing chick feeds off of while it is developing. The yolk sustains them for as long as they need it for. And it absorbs through the navel. Well, a rough navel is when the chick didn't fully absorb the yolk and most likely dies from this. Thankfully, I recently met someone who was an immediate go-to. She told me that most do not live, but after I sent her a pic of the little guy, she told me to try something. When this problem occurs, you would want to wrap the unabsorbed yolk in a paper towel, and keep the chick away from the others because the will peck it and he has a good chance of bleeding out. But, it was a little late for that trial. I had egg yolk, messy and all, in the bottom of my incubator. My chick wasn't bleeding badly. So, the next thing to do was... tie the unabsorbed yolk off closest to the chick as possible, clip the substance off, then rub with betadine. Gross? Yes! Worth it? For me it was. 
I wanted to save this chick, and I was determined that Gabby was going to help me. She was very unhappy about it all.But I was thankful I had her for this. The first time we attempted this, we couldn't get it tied off close enough and her feet kept getting in the way. It was starting to get aggravating and nerve wracking because I knew the little guy needed to go back in the heat. On top of all that was going on, Maya, my 6 yr. old sister was closely watching and saying "Anna! What if it's a rooster? Just let him die." :( I told her if it was a rooster... I was keeping him! No chick left behind. 
The first try, we didn't get it good enough. But the second run was perfection! It went much smoother. Now the chick is with the others in the brooder box, with no abnormalities other than being a bit smaller than the rest of the flock. We saved a chick! She better be a good layer ;) 

Maybe that's enough to read for now. I'll have more pictures of my brooder box set up, as well as the little biddies.

Anna .V.