The much-anticipated day of hatching has come (and gone)! It was a very exciting couple of days in our house at the end of last week as we were able to watch our lovable chickies hatch. This has been such a great experience, for all of us. I have to admit that I have been a bit of a crazy "chicken-mama". For the last few nights of incubation, I actually slept on the couch in the living room to set my alarm for every couple of hours so that I could make sure that the humidity levels were appropriate in the incubator (stable humidity is really important during "lockdown", the last stage of incubation). For some reason, the humidity wouldn't stay consistent and I wanted to keep an eye on it. Because of my surgery, going up and down the stairs has been a chore, so sleeping in the living room was just easier. =)
Thursday was Day 21 (typically when hatching would occur) and we were all a little disappointed when there were no pips (cracks in shells) throughout most of the day. And I was a little worried, wondering if something was wrong. I knew though that it is not terribly uncommon for chicks to hatch a little bit late, so I was hopeful.
Sure enough, on Thursday night, one of our chicks had begun to pip!
On Friday morning, around 5 am, I woke up to that same chick beginning to zip!
And shortly after the zipping began, our 1st "baby" was out!
Later that morning, a 2nd one hatched - and it was named Mrs. Peepers. =)
Soon after Mrs. Peepers came along, several others started pipping and zipping and ultimately hatching! It was seriously amazing to watch.
It's recommended that chicks stay in the incubator for a little while after they hatch. About 24 hours after the first 2 hatched, we took them out and put them in their new little home.
A little while after that, we let Caleb and Meredith hold them. They did such a great job and were enamored with the fluffy little guys.
This mama hen is a natural...
Mr. and Mrs. Peepers...
Over the next 36 hours or so, a total of 8 eggs hatched. And all have officially been moved to their temporary brooder and they are just so stinkin' cute.
|Home Sweet Home|
The kids love our chicks. They check on them constantly, and are pretty good at handling them (though supervision is required!). They love watching them, and spend many many many minutes throughout the day observing their behavior.
|Norah loves to look at them and excitedly waves her arms and shrieks in response to their chirps.|