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Monday, August 02, 2010

A Successful Hatch!

It seems I was a bit pessimistic in my prediction at the end of the last post. Our broody hen hatched seven healthy chicks! And she is doing a great job as a mother hen, which is good news because occasionally a hen will brood, then ignore the chicks (or even kill them).

Only one egg did not hatch, and that was one that got slipped in with others before I moved the broody to her own private quarters. That egg was probably a couple days behind the others. After awhile the hen had to give up on it to tend to the seven peeps running around her. I candled it and could see a live chick in there, so I tried to incubate it with a heat lamp, but it didn't work.

The seventh egg to hatch seemed to have trouble getting out of the egg. It was a full day after the first ones hatched. I don't know if it was necessary but I finally just broke it out myself. But the hen was tending to the others and she wouldn't go back to that one to set on it and warm it up. The other chicks, who were all quite mobile, kept stepping on the poor thing, so I took isolated that one and put the heat lamp on it for a few hours. Once it dried off and got its feat under it a little, I slipped it in with the rest. Three days later and all the chicks look good.