First Chicks of the Season

Several weeks ago Brooke got out the incubator and prepared to fill it with the first batch of eggs for the year. Trying to gather enough eggs was a little slow going at first. The weather was super cold during that time, so it was very tricky trying to get the eggs before they got too cold. Brooke would run out to the coop every half an hour starting in the morning until early afternoon, or until the eggs were gathered. At the time her group of chickens, which has 5 in the group, were only averaging two eggs a day. Between the chickens not laying any some days to the eggs getting too cold by the time she got to them, it took her a week to get nine eggs. Out of those eggs there were a few that were questionable on being too cold, but she decided to go ahead and use them.

She numbered them in the order they were gathered, and marked the questionable ones with question marks. Once she got the egg all set in the incubator, she turned them morning and night and made sure the temperature and humidity were at the right levels.

Everything was going good until one day when Brooke was adding water to the reservoir. Miley ran by her, bumping her arm, which caused her to spill the water and drench the majority of the eggs. Oh dear… that resulted in quite a sisterly squabble that I will spare you the details of. They quickly dried the eggs hoping they would be fine. Eggs have a protective coating on them that keep bacteria out, so they should never be washed or allowed to get wet before or during incubation. One time, on one of the very first batches we hatched, I accidentally filled the water reservoir too full and one egg got wet. That egg had a full developed chick in it that had died. We don’t know the exact cause for sure, but we assume it was because it had gotten wet.

Brooke decided to continue to incubate them until she could candle them to find out if they were ok. Time slipped by and she never got around to doing it. So when she was turned them for one last time before lock down, she was so excited to see some of the eggs moving and showing signs of life.

What was even more exciting was to hear the first little cheeps coming from the incubator and then…

one by one they hatched…

We ended up with five cute little fluffy chicks….

Not bad considering the rough start we had. Now the incubator is cleaned up and we’re gathering more eggs to do this all over again.

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