It's been a busy weekend, so this morning is the first chance I've had to update you all on the first "test" hatch results. The last thing I had written about was 5 eggs had pipped. Then, I had to go to work at the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society, and I wasn't expecting to return home to late that night.
Around 12:45pm, my cell phone rang at work, and Mom answered the phone with, "Congratulations, Maria, you now have two chicks! Two of the green eggs have hatched, including the one that had pipped on the wrong end." She then began to describe them to me, and I asked, "Could you take a picture for me? My camera should be right there on the metal shelf in my room." She said she would and we said goodbye.
The first chick to hatch was an all-black chick with a small white headspot; later when I closely examined it's chick down, I noticed that it had faint "chipmunk stripes" down it's back, but the usual brown color was covered over with black. I'm curious how this one will feather out - if it'll just be black and white barred, or if it will later develop other colors or a "pattern" since it carries the genes for both barred and the "wild type" that's indicated by the "chimpunk stripes".
The 2nd chick to hatch was the one that had pipped on the "wrong end" - but after watching some of the other eggs, it was just due to the air cell becoming larger, as several others pipped "in the middle" of the egg. But then again, in previous hatches, I've usually hatched them upright in cartons or containers. But this time there were only 9 eggs in the hatcher, so I just laid them on their sides.
This second chick was a classic "chimpunk", with a very distict dark brown V-shape on its head, with no muff or fluffy "cheeks". Both the 1st & 2nd chick have small combs - not sure what type yet.
One hour later, around 1:45pm, my cell phone rang again, and this time it was Dad. He said, "Mom instructed me to call you to let you know that you now have a 3rd chick hatched, and I took a photo. They're all from the green eggs, in the same area." The third chick was another "chipmunk", a little more "round" than the other chipmunk chick and with big fluffy "cheeks". We nicknamed it, "Muffy" - I always love these types of chicks. They look so adorable and the adults are always so pretty.
We ended up getting out of work early (Yay!), so I came right home, collected the fresh eggs from the coop, and checked on the peeps! It was around 4:20pm, and there was a partially wet chick on top of the hardware cloth "cages" that I made to separate the eggs by breed/coop, etc. But, there was a small gap, and that little chick had escaped. This chick was immediately dubbed a "he" - though we don't know it's true gender, but just based on it's outgoing personality, little roo chicks sometimes tend to be that way. He had made it from the end of the hatcher to the other end underneath one of the light bulbs and near the fan. So, he could get a heated "blow dry" to fluff up his fuzz faster! It'd say he's one smart little bugger! He was from a medium brown egg, and is light yellow with a single comb and big feet.
His presence and peeping must have encouraged the chick that had pipped in the egg underneath him, as it quickly zipped and hatched. This 5th chick was from a medium brown egg, and hatched out dark blue (gray), dark legs & a single comb. It hadn't fully absorbed it's yolk, but since it was by itself, by later that evening, it was normal & ready to go.
A 6th chick made its entry into the world before my day was over. This one hatched from a light brown egg laid by one of the Catskill Homesteader hens in the Bielefelder coop. It's fluffed out as a little dark charcoal gray cutie with a brown face, and a small, very faint headspot. It might be one of the ones that I keep to grow out, since it's so unique. When it hatched, it nested its empty shell over the pipped end of the other egg next to it. I checked and no other egg had pipped yet, exeept for the one that was covered over by the empty shell. So, I added more warm water to increase the humidity, then quickly opened the hatcher & took out that shell. Sure enough, that other egg was in the process of zipping also.
But, it was time for me to go to bed.
Saturday morning (3/7) at 4 am, I woke up the 7th chick had already hatched from the above egg that had been zipped when I went to bed. It was partially dry already, and was a golden yellow with a single comb. There was no sign of the last remaining 2 eggs pipping, rocking or any "life" in them. But, since there was still time left for them, I left all the chicks and eggs alone for most of the day. Then when I checked in the afternoon, I saw a pip in the one lone Bielefelder egg - which I wasn't sure of its status when I last candled it. A few hours later, we had a chick! Even though it was still wet, I was pretty sure it was a male due to its light color. By the time it fluffed out, it matched the photos of the male Bielefelder chicks I've seen on other websites. And boy, did he ever have a loud peep and didn't like being all by himself. But, the others were more active and he could barely stand up.
So, I set up and moved 4 of the chicks to the brooder in the storage room, and left 4 of the younger ones in the hatcher. The 9th egg failed to hatch, but even still 8 chicks from 9 eggs is egg-cellent!
Sunday morning, I move the other 4 chicks to the brooder with food and water.
Yesterday, I noticed that they're starting to get their little wing tips - they sure do "grow up" so fast, at least, when you want them to stay looking all cute and fluffy!
I enjoyed hearing the peeping in my room, but it won't be long before there's more peeping coming from the hatcher!
Tomorrow, I'll candle & move all the incubator eggs to the hatcher. It'll be day 16 - day 19 for the eggs, as they were set 4 days in a row. It'll be an interesting hatch, but so far all the eggs look promising to be growing little chicks in them.
And yes, I will add photos once I clean off enough stuff of this laptop to make room for them.
The last time I tried to download photos, it gave me a warning that the harddrive was full, and sure enough I only had a few hundred MB left! You know what's taking up the most room?
Photos! There's still photos on here from 2012 - so I'm in the process of backing them up, so I can delete them & the recent ones I want to share with you all!