New babies

When I took the eggs off the turner I could hear many of them peeping very loudly as I positioned them on the floor of the incubator. Within 12 hours, the first chick had pipped and hatched.

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The very first chick hatched at Bramblewood Acres. This one has feathery legs, his momma was a Brahma!

Once they started pipping, hatching came quickly and we spent most of the next two days hovering over the incubator, delighting in each new hatch, encouraging them to hurry up and break free!

Come on, little guy, you can do it!

Come on, little guy, you can do it!

Kayleigh told me her life has been changed by watching the chicks hatch. I believe it. It’s pretty incredible. Their feet are HUGE.

Almost there!

Almost there!

I had to help three hatch. They were taking so long to get out they got “shrink wrapped” into the shell and couldn’t push out. The humidity in the incubator wasn’t quite high enough so the fluids/membranes were drying pretty quickly. If they didn’t get out fast enough, those fluids and membranes glued them into the shell. A pair of tweezers and patience helped unglue them and they could finish hatching on their own.

Being born is exhausting!

Being born is exhausting!

We gave the  newborns about an hour to dry out in the incubator before moving them into the brooder. I think next time I’ll move them faster. Those wobbly babies wreaked havoc on their unborn siblings, knocking eggs all over the place.

First bites

First bites

It’s easier to eat while standing in the food dish, ya know. They figured out food pretty quickly. These babies are about 4 hours old.

So tired!

So tired!

Who knew eating was so exhausting! Wake up, eat, fall asleep in the food, repeat.

Getting to know each other.

Getting to know each other.

Under the heat light, resting. Out of the 31 eggs we incubated, 24 hatched. Not a bad rate. I put another clutch in the incubator yesterday and one of the broody hens has six chicks with her. We are giving her the chance to raise them herself and see if she is cut out to be a good mom. The last hen who hatched out 2 chicks lost them both within 3 days. She just lost interest and abandoned them. Hopefully this momma will be a little more attentive!

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