We’re happy to report that 21 of the 24 eggs hatched. The little balls of fluff are happily eating, drinking, and chirping in their brooder. They’re strong, active, and busy doing important chick activities.
There were three eggs that didn’t hatch normally. One was a brown egg that had pipped but got rolled around by the chicks that hatched earlier. One Brown Leghorn egg had pipped but made no progress – no zipping. The third egg was another Brown Leghorn that hadn’t pipped.
Given the length of time and lack of progress, we decided to assist the two chicks that had pipped. The chick in the brown egg was unusually small, coated in a sticky substance (yolk?) and also seemed to have some sort of tissue stuck to its abdomen.
The chick in the white egg was normal-sized, a little sticky, but lively. The other white egg didn’t have any signs of pipping. When we opened it, it was clear the chick had died a few days ago.
We left the two chicks in the incubator to dry. After several hours, the Brown Leghorn chick was fluffier and standing. The chick from the brown egg, which had only laid on its side in the incubator, didn’t make it. It’s nature’s way, but that little chick sure tried. May he or she rest in peace.
We moved the late-hatching Brown Leghorn to the brooder to join the others. 22 of the 24 eggs – roughly 92% – hatched and survived. All of the eggs were fertile (a credit to our roo), and all developed. When the chicks are fully feathered, they’ll join their parents, the 9 remaining chickens in the flock.
It’s been an exciting and nerve-wracking ride, hatching our first eggs. Both wonderful and sad, it was a great experience and we learned a lot. More to come on the chicks as they grow.