Monday, March 30, 2009


If you've been following for a while, you might remember that one of our eggs had a crack in it from shipping, so I coated it with wax to seal it in hopes that it would hatch anyway. Things were going perfectly until around day 16 or 17 when we candled and couldn't see any movement. We decided to keep it in the incubator just in case the embryo was sleeping or something. After the hatching of the other 3 eggs, I recandled, and again saw no movement. I also noticed that the egg just didn't feel right and so decided to pronounce it "unhatched".

Out of curiosity, I used a pin to chip away at the eggshell. I was careful not to puncture the membrane, just in case I was by some chance wrong with the candling. If the baby had been viable for some reason and just not moving, I would have known by looking at the membrane. Alas, this was not the case, so I took a bunch of pictures of her so that she did not die in vain. I figure someone may find these useful scientifically. If not, she is still beautiful in her own sad way.

Please- if you have children, watch the slideshow first and use your own judgement as to whether they can handle the photos or not. We showed Jib, who will be 3 next month. We told him that she just wasn't strong enough to hatch because she stopped growing, and sometimes things like this happen. He was sad about it for a minute, wanted to touch her (which I let him and then made him wash his hands, he just wanted to pet her head). He then wanted to see the other chicks that were still hanging out in the incubator, I think to make sure that they were still in there. All in all, I think it was a good learning experience for him even at this young age; but I know every child is different.

I had to resize the slideshow to get it to show up in it's entirety on here. If you'd like to view the full size version, please leave a comment and I'll email it to you. Thanks!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A baby chick hatches

This is video of our Silkie chicken hatching yesterday 3/27. Sorry about the audio, I know the music doesn't fit with the video but it's better than the original commentary by the Mr. and JibJib.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stay tuned...

for more pics. The babies are still drying, and I can't take them out for pictures until they're nice and fluffy.

We have a blue baby!

Here's baby number one, a blue Silkie. S/he is adorable, and feather footed. I could just snort it right up. Be prepared for many many pictures, some of which are pretty much the same. I just can't stop myself, it's so dern cute!

Pip pic

It's hard to see, but remember that I'm photographing through the incubator window ;)


Check out the comb already!

This is what happens if they run out of water for even 30 seconds, it's a chick race to the waterer!

Three babes!

We have 3 chicks! One blue, one yellow (not sure if it's white or buff yet) and one that could be either black or blue (we're hoping for black so we have a big variety). Awwww! Off to upload pics...

A pip and a ZIP!

Today is hatching day! We had a pip yesterday around 2pm (the star crack that begins the hatch, kind of like the first contraction). Not much going on in the incubator last night besides some moving and peeping eggs. I got up around 2:15am (it's hard to sleep when you're in labor ;)) and we had a total of 2 pips.

As of this morning, our second pipper (the one that pipped during the night) is hatched! It looks to be a blue Silkie (they're all Silkies, but the person I got the eggs from doesn't separate so the colors are a surprise). Pictures to come when I get back from yoga.

Friday, March 27, 2009

We have a pip!

A little star crack on the top of an egg, found by my mother (who of course had to go ruining my fun and blabbing to the Mr. before I could LoL). I can't wait! We should have at least one baby tomorrow, if not tonight.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cheep CHEEP!

We were sitting in the living room, when all the sudden we hear some very loud Cheep cheep CHEEPS coming from the other room. I thought maybe they were pecking at each other, or out of water, or sitting on top of their water jar yet again. As I go to check on them (the box was in the hallway) I open the door a little further and am greeted by two furry faces! The two Easter Eggers had escaped and were coming out to investigate.

They are so darn tootin' cute that I let them roam around the kitchen for a bit before returning them to the bucket. I guess this means it's time to move them to the dishwasher box so we don't have any night wanderings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The 3 day wait begins!

We're officially at day 18, so I removed the egg turner and the eggs are laying on the screened bottom. This gives the eggs 3 days to get into correct pipping position to hatch on day 21 which is Saturday. I also upped the humidity by putting a small bowl of water in there. It's driving me nuts because I now can't open the incubator until they're hatched. We're getting excited!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weight check

The meaties are now over 8 pounds! I just did a rough weigh on them, since they squawk and scream bloody murder when you try to pick them up- but divided by 21 birds that's quite the growth!

Friday, March 20, 2009


They're getting so big, so fast! These are from a couple of days ago (actually, the same day the candling pics from yesterday and the candling videos were taken).

Closeup of the wing feathers growing in

Here's my little half splayed baby, she's a runt compared to the rest of them. I move her from food to water a few times a day to make sure she's getting enough to eat and drink. She wasn't a willing participant in the photo shoot, you can see she was a bit disgruntled.

And here's one of the Easter Eggers, the kiddo's "favorite"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Candling pictures from day 10

A couple days late in posting these, but I figure late is better than never...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Candling videos (day 10)

Great veining, and you can see the embryo moving around

Watch on the left hand side, you can see the chick's foot. Please excuse the audio.

Great bouncing embryo

Weight Check

As of 6:38pm tonight, the chicks weigh a total of 4 lbs. 9.1 oz. which is 3.3227 oz each. For those keeping track this is a 1.1137 oz growth from two days ago. You can definitely see the difference in growth between the meaties and the egg layers.

Monday, March 16, 2009

New brooder

The babies got moved to a new brooder box today, the honking huge orange box we got from Save a Lot. I had them in a smaller UHaul box when we first got them, knowing full well they'd only be in there a few days. I'd prefer something in the middle size range, but this will have to do. I'm sure they'll be filling it out before I know it!

I assure you, they are plenty warm enough. When they're awake, they are milling about, but they all like to sleep in a big chick pile:)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3lbs 0.6oz

Averaging 2.209 oz per chick today, up 0.432 oz from yesterday. At 5 days old, we're already seeing a bit of a size difference between the meaties and the egg layers.

Half spraddled

I noticed that one of the babies looked a little different, but got distracted and forgot about it. Today I noticed, she is half spraddled. We bandaged her up and hopefully she'll be feeling better soon. Never thought I'd be a poultry physical therapist LoL. Thank you to PoultryHelp for the instructions on how to fix her up!

Not real happy about the splint-

But she eventually calmed down

Saturday, March 14, 2009

2lbs 7.1oz

That's how much 22 chicks weigh, which averages out to 1.777oz per chick. Just out of curiosity I'm going to try weighing them every day to see how fast they grow.
By some unexplained phenomenon, the egg turner is spontaneously working again (I plugged it in on a whim). I know it's better for them to not be lifting the lid every few hours, but I'm seriously missing touching them. Yeah, I'm an egg fondler and I'm not afraid to admit it LoL.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Here's one of the Barred Rocks (we got 4)

And here's one of the Easter Eggers/Americanas (we got 2)


A big huge thumbs up for Decorah Hatchery. They were nice on the phone, sent us a receipt, called to let us know when the chicks would be hatched (which was the same day they originally said). Chicks arrived in perfect condition, with 3 extras (1 meatie and 2 barred rocks).

They're all beautiful, pics to come soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Got a call from the Post Office

No chicks today:( Ah well, they'll be here tomorrow!

Egg Update & Chicks

Yay! Chicks should be here today or tomorrow, I can't wait! We've got a call in to the Post Office- they said that they normally just deliver them to the house, but they spread the word around that we want a call so we can pick them up ASAP.

I recandled eggs #1, #2 and #6. #1 was the one that was clear- still clear, and the air sac was still moving around so I broke it open (outside, just in case of stink). First of all, I can tell you that it did not stink. Secondly, the yolk was scrambled when I cracked it open, so it definitely wasn't viable.

Eggs #2 and #6 have definite veining in them, so it looks like 5 out of 5 eggs in the incubator are growing well:)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Some exciting (and some sad) news!

My mom stopped over today and we candled the eggs. We candled both the first batch (the $3/doz may-or-may-not-be fertile eggs) as well as the fertile hatching eggs from Destiny Farms.

First for the sad news- unfortunately, none of the first batch had anything growing in them. They were set on March 2nd in the afternoon, so they've been in there 8-9 days. All of them were completely clear.

The two blue-green eggs we weren't able to see through enough to diagnose- I'm pretty sure they're also clear, but I stuck them back in the incubator just in case. My mom is bringing over her candling light tomorrow so we can see if we have better luck with that, since it will cup the egg.


We have what looks to be 5 embryos out of 6 eggs growing! 3 definite embryos, 2 dark masses that we'll call "maybes" and 1 clear.

I will go ahead and apologize right now for the craptastic pictures- in order to get a good shot, we have to take them without the flash, in the dark; and of course we have the little one running around touching our legs and making us unstable. Not wanting to keep them out of the incubator for too long, we only have one shot and if it turns out blurry.......well, then blurry is what you get.

Egg #1- I believe is infertile. Actually, it may well have been fertile, but the air pocket is scrambled, since it moves. However, I cannot bring myself to throw it out just yet (still that tiny little chance of hope in the back of my mind).

Egg #2- Definite dark mass at the top of the egg. I can't say for sure that it's an embryo, but it's something. And something is better than nothing.

Egg #3- This one has some great veining- which of course you can't see (see above explanation of craptastic photos). If you look hard, you might be able to decipher it a bit. Pretend to quarter the egg, in the upper left quadrant towards the lower right portion of that quadrant, see the mass? With the veins coming off of it? No?! Well, I tried.

Is this better?

Egg #4- This is my cracked egg- lo and behold, there is a definite embryo growing in there!

Egg #5- If you can't see this embryo, please head to your nearest optometrist.

Egg #6- Dark mass, I *think* I may have seen a vein, but then again maybe I had a dog hair in my eye.