Monday, April 23, 2012

Peep Show

I arrived home from work Friday evening with the old farmhouse to myself. I'd heard no news on the incubator front from the Artist all day so I assumed no news was just that, no news. Eli greeted me as  I headed out to the coop. "Any offspring of yours in the world yet, Eli?" I asked as he followed me, hoping for a treat.
I was only half kidding and was pleasantly surprised to find this little one! One little chick alone in a sea of eggs. I could barely stand to watch this poor little soul watching me with those big eyes, without a mother, and whom had tucked himself away in the far corner of the incubator and I couldn't remove him without the risk of spoiling the other eggs. 

A short while later, the male twin and I arrived just in time to watch this little one breaking free. This was one of the most heartbreaking events to ever watch. He tried to push and struggled to lift his derriere out of that shell but he just couldn't do it. He quickly developed a routine of trying to pry himself loose and alternately resting, each cycle a few minutes long. We teetered between cheers and worry. Without any  prior experience, we weren't certain what was normal and what wasn't. I was more skeptical of his survival while the male twin  was certain he would be just fine.

Hard at rest.
I now understand all the literature I've read about not helping a chicken out of his shell because without it, who wouldn't be tempted to help a little soul like that? This little guy would fall asleep with his head flopped to the side like this or with it forward as he slept on his belly and can I tell you, with his wet fur he seriously looked like a little old man with a long comb over. He really did! Later that evening, we found him finally free and tucked away in the  back corner with the first arrival and we all breathed a sigh of relief. We also discovered this.
And then there were three.
There was no activity throughout the day on Saturday,and it looked like our submission of twenty eggs wasn't going to provide us with a very big yield but then we noticed this in the afternoon. We checked regularly through the entire evening but our view never changed. By Sunday morning though, it had completely hatched along with a fifth and number six was on his or her way to eggshell freedom.
So while not the result we were hoping for, we are still quite
pleased to have six new Chantecler hatchlings at the Rural Roost.
They snuggled together and slept, a lot but when it came time to remove them from the incubator, they didn't seem to mind. The male twin is pretty sure they all imprinted on him and has decided he is their mother. A wonderful experience for the twins, they would never have experienced this in the city.
We've decided to set up a brooder in a sunroom in the house. We can keep a closer eye on them here, and with a second broody hen about to deliver, we have limited accommodations in the coop at the moment. And truth be told, we're looking forward to being chick mamas for the next few weeks.
Another Rural Revival at its best!

~Be well friends!~

*****Update*****

Late breaking news has revealed a seventh chick sleeping in the incubator this cold Monday morning. Word has it he/she thinks they're the first one to hatch and is patiently waiting for the others while we say, better late than never!
joining:

and
 then, she {snapped}

26 comments:

L.C.M.Photography said...

These are soooo cute! We wish we had some. Went to visit my parents to see theirs and another local place to witness some hatching. They are so adorable. Now the kids want some. You captured the event beautifully. Now I even want them.

Lynne said...

So delightful . . . leaves me feeling hope and promise!

Gail said...

I am so happy you got to witness the miracle of hatching.

Congratulations, chick mom.

Donkey Bums said...

They are cute little things, can I ask for biology lesson.. how do you know at this age that they are male? I have 3 chicks in my house right now that are 3 weeks old and I'm hoping they are hens but have no idea. Thanks,Christina

Gone Country said...

How exciting! And what a privilege to watch them hatch!

I would've wanted to help the poor chick out too. God-given animal instinct is so amazing!

Karen said...

oooh, so darn cute!

Homesteading Quest said...

Lovely photos! and congratulations on your new additions :)

TexWisGirl said...

they are beautiful. congrats!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Sweet!!!! Makes me want chicks.

Calico Hen said...

Adorable chicks! We just added four new hens to our flock and have 20 baby chicks in the brooder.

Red Gate Farm said...

Ahhh, so adorable. Hard to believe that cute little chick foot will soon be a big, scaly, scarey one! And I must say, I'd have a hard time not helping the little guys out of the shell either :)

~Chris

Kristy LifenReflection said...

What a sweet story. Congratulations on your new chicks!! It is always a tough t watch them hatch, but thrilling too!

Deb said...

They are SO sweet! I'm sure you'll have lots of fun with them.

vintage grey said...

So wonderful!! They are too sweet!! I love the photos of the chick sleeping!! Have a wonderful Monday!!

Snooks said...

What sweet little ones. It will be fun having the babies inside. Enjoy your little balls fluff.

@ 3Beeze Homestead

Elaine A. said...

I'm a little jealous and still wondering when I can book my week at Camp Rural Revival. ;)

SO CUTE!

Elaine A. said...

I'm a little jealous and still wondering when I can book my week at Camp Rural Revival. ;)

SO CUTE!

Jocelyn said...

Congrats!

It's always wonderful to see a hatch. I never get tired of it. They look great!

Good for you on holding back. My experience with hatching has been that some pop out like a cork, and some are so slow to come out, it's like agony (to me). It's all I can do to sit on my hands!

Cheryl said...

Congrats!! What an experience for the whole family.

Michelle said...

Congrats on the new arrival. So cute!

The House at Bluebird Lane said...

What precious baby chicks! My kids would love these. :-)

Caribou said...

Congrats on the babies!
Watching them come into the world never gets old.
Crolyn

Miss Charming said...

Such a precious shot! We had chickens growing up and the new fluffy chicks were always my favorite. Have fun with your new babies!

Tracy Marie said...

Ohh..those new born chicks are sweet little lovies!! I'm getting chickens soon and I can't wait!

Nancy said...

How exciting for you and your kids. I'm all for raising the chicks inside if you can -- it's more of a learning experience that way. Congratulations!

JEANNE ILLENYE said...

Ohhh how sweet, although I bet it was realllly tough for those babies to hatch out of an egg standing on end and locked into a crate rather than as nature would have it, laying sideways with some wiggle room to adjust pressure points and make it much easier for them. Glad they survived!