The big day has come and gone and our second and last incubator run of the season brought us four New Hampshire chicks. While the number of chicks weren't what we were hoping for, we're still quite happy and are fingers are crossed that at least a couple will be hens to add to our laying flock. We're now up to 23 chickens running around the old farmhouse and we're hoping from these we'll have enough hens to increase our number of layers to around ten. I'm hoping we'll be able to sell or trade some of the Chanteclers to other breeders as they are extremely endangered. All of the breeds we have chosen are dual-purpose, so those that we can't sell will provide for us this winter in other ways.
Enough of that though; for now, we're enjoying one week old chicks, five and six week old tweens, one rebellious 8 week old teenager and a return to three laying hens.
I had never witnessed a chicken hatch firsthand and was surprised when I could hear it peeping, quite loudly, while still in its shell. The first chick to make his way to freedom, took forever and a day to come out. I first noticed a pip in his shell Friday morning around 7AM. It remained like that for over 24 hours, at noon the next day his shell was cracked around half of the middle and I watched off and on while he struggled to get out. He finally completed his mission and broke free four hours later. It's hard work being born a chicken. See for yourself. Thanks to the girl twin for filming this, she did a great job!
Sunday morning I found three more chicks huddled in the corner of the
incubator. The one on the far right was the chick to hatch first in the video.
Is it just me or does one of these not look like the others? I'm not sure what a New Hampshire chick should look like...we either have a recessive gene or a completely different breed. Time will tell!
~Be well friends~