Monday, April 11, 2011

Schoolyard Chickens Update--Peeping and Pipping, Oh My!

Tuesday 4:55 am Woke up and just HAD to check those eggs. Still not much happening! A little worried, but I should know better by now...hatching birds in an incubator takes PATIENCE!

Monday 11:30 pm Nine pips...hard to go to bed with that and nothing else happening. I hope all is well and believe in the miracle of mother nature (and a good incubator!) ;)

Monday 7:35 pm Three more pips have appeared in quick succession! Two more FCBMs and one from my Easter Egger. Four total pips as we head toward sundown, a few hours into Day 19.

6:55 pm Nothing to report. The pip is just slightly bigger but is still just a little star-shaped outie. I assume the chick is resting and will begin to peck out the pip and to zip sometime this evening. It's not unusual for a chick to take 12 or more hours to fully hatch after the first pip, and most are born within 24 hours of pipping.

Monday 4:15 pm One of the French Coppered Black Marans hen's eggs has a beautiful pip. This must have been the baby I heard peeping earlier. I am delighted to see the hatch starting in earnest, especially because this particular egg is a BIG, dark, very speckled one from Gypsy. As I have worked on the olive egger line I am developing, her eggs have been particularly important, as I hope I can pass her eggs' size, depth of color, and especially their speckles to the F1 generation. More to come soon!

Monday 3:00 pm Not much to report at this point, as we approach the end of day 18. (The pic to the left is just keeping me excited about what's to come! That and others in this post are from my first hatch, so this will be a stroll down memory lane.)

It's pretty rare to have pips by this point, unless your temps were too high in the incubator (which causes problems of its own, including crippled chicks). What I am happy to report is that while staring into the bator a few minutes ago, trying to convince myself I could see one of the eggs rocking a little, I heard a tiny peep! I turned off the motor for just a moment and sure enough, a chick is peeping every few minutes.

This means that at least one little chick has pipped INTERNALLY. That means s/he has poked a tiny sharp beak through the membrane separating itself from the large end of the egg, into the air sac. There is enough air in the sac to let the chick breathe for about 6 hours. That means, if all goes well, and this is a healthy chick, it should make an external pip within that time frame. I'm hoping to see a pip and maybe even a hatch by midnight tonight! This is perfect timing...with any luck, I'll take the incubator in to the Montessori classroom tomorrow morning, and there will be one exciting fluffy chick to watch and several pips or zips in progress.

Until I have more to report, I'll leave you with some more pics from that first hatch...

We can't stop looking in the incubator this time either!


totally zipped!
Soon, very soon, we'll have something that looks a lot like this!

No comments:

Post a Comment