chickam has begun! baby chicks are hatching!

velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)February 25, 2010

We are doing our annual live, with sound, web broadcast of baby chickens hatching. Hatching JUST started (a day and a half early), we have several eggs peeping and rocking. The hatch date was supposed to be Friday, Feb. 26th, but hey--we're goin' NOW. Please remember: Hatching takes many hours and can move slowly, with hours going by between the time a chick pips and the time it actually emerges from it's shell. And when it DOES come out, it does so suddenly, in just a few minutes. But watching a hatch CAN be kinda like watching paint dry, so be patient. It's not an instant gratification thing.

Here is the link to the webcam, with sound.

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chickam2008

So ladies and gentlemen, choose your favorite egg and cheer it on! They are numbered 1-61, BUT we did pull eleven of them 14 days in as they were clear and nothing had developed when I candled them. I'll post the missing numbers later. Later I'll be posting updates and pictures of last year's chicks.

We did things a little differently this year, and I ordered fertile eggs online from several sources. The breeds we are hatching are: Giant Cochins, Salmon Faverolles, Belgian d'Uccles and Silkies.

Right now #21 (a Porcelain Belgian d'Uccle egg)is peeping and pipping (making it's initial cracks in the shell), if you look at the top of the number 1 that's where the pipping is.

#33 (a Giant Cochin egg) is also rocking and peeping strongly, but no pips yet.

There are two incubators, side by side, both had viable eggs with living chicks when I candled them at 14 days. We can only have the cam on one incubator at a time, so we chose the one with the forced air fan (that's the low hum you hear in the background).

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simpleme

could you give us the supplier that you got your fertile eggs from. Would apprecreate it a great deal.

thanks. btw, too cute. I have 32 hens and so many go broody and I can sit for hours and watch Mama hen care for her babes.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 12:51AM
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marlingardener

Velvet, thank you so much for setting up all this to share with us! You are someone special, for sure.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 7:21AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Hoo hoo! Such fun to check in on!

--Johanna

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 7:30PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Sorry I haven't checked back in, things have been hyper busy. We ended up with 12 chicks: 2 Porcelain Belgian d'Uccles, 1 Black Mottled Belgian d'Uccle, 1 Black Silkie, 1 Cuckoo Silkie, 1 Blue Giant Cochin, 2 Lemon Blue Giant Cochins, 2 Golden Laced Giant Cochins and 2 Salmon Faverolles.

As for my suppliers, I got all of my eggs of ebay this year. The breeders are extremely nice, down-to-earth folks who replied with friendly emails, bent over backwards to please and in most cases put in an extra egg or two. They also wrapped the eggs extremely well and marked the boxes as to the contents.

I did continue to have a low hatch rate this year, even for shipped eggs. I incubated 25 eggs in each incubator, and had 5 hatch in one incubator, 7 in the other. At least hatching eggs by mail this time tells me that it isn't my flock that's to blame.

I opened the unhatched eggs, and found eggs at all stages of development, literally from just-started to full-term chicks. They seemed to be spread out equally, too--I didn't see a higher percentage of chicks at certain stages. And both incubators reflected the same results.

So I really don't know WHAT is going on with the incubators. One is 10+ years old, the other 2 years old and are identical. I am following instructions religiously, temp and humidity are maintained correctly.

From now one I'm not going to incubate more than a dozen or so eggs at a time and see how that goes. The incubator thing is making me crazy.

Anyone else who hatches eggs in an incubator--how many eggs do you set at once? Have you ever loaded your incubator to it's maximum number?

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:24PM
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