Monday, July 23, 2012

Official Chick Count

Our final number is two chicks. Both chicks and Mama are doing well and are happy. They'd like to enjoy some privacy, but we won't let them. How can you leave new chicks alone? You can go ahead and trust me when I say it's impossible.

I removed the rest of the unhatched eggs a little over 24 hours after the last chick hatched. Most of them were full of liquid when I shook them, which means no chick inside. Two were questionable, so I candled them in order to find the air sack and then I pipped them (I poked a small hole in the end where I'd seen the air sack. Essentially, I was doing what a baby chick would do when it starts to hatch.). One exploded as soon as I'd broken through from the pressure that had built up inside. There was a stinky yolk inside. The other was just a rotten egg. So into a ziplock bag they all went and into the garbage can. I didn't want the guilt of worrying about whether or not I'd thrown away an unhatched chick.

The best thing about removing the unhatched eggs is that Mama and babies were out and about in their portion of the coop the next morning. These chicks are much more worried about humans at this age than last year's batch. Last year's chicks didn't pay us much attention inthe first few weeks and we could scoop them up pretty easily with only a few worried peeps. I'm not sure if it's completely temperment or if it's the fact that there are only two of them, but they scurry into the corner when we get into the coop. Because they're on edge, Mama is much more on edge. Last year she couldn't care less, probably because she had four other chicks crawling all over her if we were handling one. I've already been pecked by her twice and they're less than a week old. I'm trying to be more accompdating because of all the commotion I cause when I go out there. I haven't spent as much time in the coop and playing with the chicks as last year. I'm not trying to give some poor little baby chick a heart attack.

Cross your fingers that we get a couple of hens this time. We're doing our part to tip the balance. As I've said, last year's name's were heavily manly with the Star Wars theme, so this year we went with Disney princesses. Please let me introduce you to Rapunzel and Belle.

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