New Chicks

This week was filled with new life in the form of hatching eggs.  The Swedish Flower Hen broody had 6 SFH eggs to hatch out and the IncuView Incubator held 13 fertile Silver Gray Dorking eggs.

Broody SFH hen: 6 Swedish Flower Hen eggs

Monday night October 23, 2017:  Broody hen 1, Incubator 0.

Tuesday morning she was hiding whatever she had.  I decided to leave her alone.  I could faintly hear at least one chick chirping above the multiple rooster crows.  Another part of a shell appeared in front of her part way through the day

She stayed on the nest all day Tuesday. But one chick appeared in the evening.

   

On Wednesday morning she was off of the nest.

Oh the fluffy cuteness of newly hatched Swedish Flower Hen chicks.

I think she did good for a first time broody hen less than a year old.  This hen sat on eggs for 5 weeks at least.  She is being a good momma to her 3 chicks.

IncuView Incubator: 13 Silver Gray Dorking eggs

I found the first pip Monday afternoon shortly after 3 pm.  Oh, I felt excitement.  I always do when an egg pips!  Now this rainy, dreary day had new life written into it.

It was Tue morning about 8:30 am before the piped egg hatched.  There were 3 more eggs piped by this time.

The anticipation and excitement continued for the next day and a half.

As one or two would hatch a couple more would pip.

I kept a close watch and if one was not making progress and it had been several hours, then I helped out a little.  Deciding to help has its benefits and heart aches.  I have helped chicks out finding them perfectly normal.  Some times there is a reason the chick is not making it out on its own.  Those reasons are unpleasant.  More on that in a future post.

Thursday morning I moved the chicks to their brooder pen in the house.  This particular group of chicks will be going to a new home in a few days.

Hatching chicks keeps me young at heart.  I never seem to tire of the beauty of new life in babies.

 

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A Broody Swedish Flower Hen

Fact: 20% of Swedish Flower Hens go broody.  Not a high number really considering 50% of my Silver Gray Dorking Hens went broody at under a year.  (3 out of 6)  My first group of 8 hens(SFH) are well over a year old and no broody among them. Out of 18 (SFH) hens this is the first to go broody.  I was trilled to realize that one of the Swedish Flower Hens was indeed broody and at 6 months old.   Hatched on March 9, 2017, she had only started laying the beginning of August.  I have not even placed a rooster in that pen of hens yet.  Her efforts are in vain. There is no way she has fertile eggs.

If you have read any of my September posts, I was having a rough time loosing my horse McCoy, struggling with my own health challenges while attempting to keep up caring for the animals.   “There is nothing new under the sun.”  The truth of Ecclesiastes 1:9 has been a source of comfort to me, knowing others have indeed experienced these trials and lived to see another day.  I chose to see an opportunity for growth.

Catching up on pen cleaning and farm maintenance needed to come first, in my opinion, before giving thought to hatching eggs.  Happy when I received an order for Silver Gray Dorking chicks,  I decided to use the IncuView Incubator.

 

Thursday(yesterday) proved to be a beautiful October fall day.  I did not move quickly for that is not in the best interest of my health, but rather I slowed down, accomplishing needed tasks in a relaxed fashion.  For one who once sported the nickname “energizer bunny” slowing down is an accomplishment in itself.  That, readers, is my sense of humor showing, for the simple truth, presently, I am not physically capable of working as I have in the past.

Feeling confident that I can, once again, care for the animals to meet my standards,  (Clean! Clean! Clean!)  I decided to attempt to give the broody hen eggs to hatch.  After consideration of different options, I brought in a 100 gallon tank and set her up in there.  Bedding and Swedish Flower Hen eggs from a different pen went in first.  I removed her from the eggs she was sitting on, totally changing her environment.  It was a bit of an experiment for me.  I felt hopeful but not sure what to expect.  I chased away the believe that I required a perfect outcome of my choice. It was going to be okay if this didn’t work.  I would learn from this.  I was going to get feed back from my results.

She was drawn to the eggs but was anxious about her new house.  She became occupied with pecking at the hardware cloth top.  I added feed and water after seeing her sit on the eggs.  Oh, but then when I came back she was off them.  I lifted the lid, a quick intent look from her and suddenly she flew out.  I caught her after what felt like several minutes, but did not take me that long at all.  Well, “I will give you 24 hours”, I decided silently.  I told myself I was going to stay away from her to give her time to settle.  NO peeking at her for one hour and I looked at my watch.  In my excitement, I had not realized she was receiving constant checks, like every few minute checks. Silly of me really, but I so badly wanted this to work.

I reduced my checks to periodically throughout the evening.  Before going in for the night she was indeed setting on the eggs.  This morning found her still flattened like a pancake covering all 11 eggs.  Excitement!!

Both, the eggs in incubator and the broody hen should be hatching near the date of October 26th, fulfilling the 21 day incubation period.  Did you know the exact temperature will shorten or lengthen the time it takes for chicks to develop?  Stay connected on social media for up to date reports on the hatches.

 

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