Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our first hatch!

August 5, 2014 ... Gandie sets up camp on 9 eggs

On August 5, we embarked on our first adventure in hatching eggs using a broody hen. See "Our first attempt" Blog post

Today's anticipated hatch day, Tuesday, August 26, came before we knew it, and lo and behold, as we approached the door of the "Doghouse Coop/Nursery Coop" this evening, we could hear sweet little peeps.

August 26 ... meet the peeps!

We opened the door to discover three beautiful chicks. Another egg was partly zipped (mid-hatch) and four eggs remain intact. There was also an additional 'dummy' egg (infertile) that was still intact.

The chicks are adorably fluffy, ducking in and out from under their mama, Gandie, for protection and warmth. One has subtle brown stripes, just like the Sex Link chicks we got in the Spring. The other two are plain yellow fuzzballs, much like the Tetra Tint chicks. They are already starting to mimick some pecking and scratching behavior! The kids had to, of course, have a little cuddle with each one!

We are not going to name them for at least 2 months, by which time we should be able to decipher boys from girls. So for now they are Peep #1, Peep #2 and Peep #3.

Peep #1 (with stripes)

Peep #2

Peep #3

Unfortunately, we have a 5-day trip planned to West Virginia, leaving in two days, so I hope mama Gandie takes good care of them while we are gone (and Grandma will check on them too.) We know there are eager and watchful hawks on our property.

Peep #1 (stripey) & mama Gandie

We are going to let Gandie raise these little ones with minimal interference, apart from daily visits that is :) Although we are eager to hatch more, she will be busy with these chicks for at least 6-8 weeks, and by then, it may be too late to initiate another hatch (if she is even interested) due to the approaching winter. So we will wait until late winter/early spring to try again.

Update: Egg #4 did not finish hatching. Another egg (#5) partly hatched overnight but Gandie left the nest with the other three and abandoned it. We tried to assist, but it did not make it (after 8 hours out of the shell.) The other eggs were discarded. I did not check to see if they had developed.