Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hatching of the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes

Well, my hatch of the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes is complete, thank goodness. I had another "exciting" hatch, which I'm starting to hate.

I started the eggs at 8pm on a Sunday, so figured I'd see my first pips Sunday morning, 3 weeks later. I bought 7 eggs. One never developed at all, and the other died at 7 days along.

On Sunday morning, by 10am, I had pips in 3 eggs. One was pipped at the narrow end (again? Seriously?), one was perfectly normal, and the last had pipped almost into the floor of the incubator.

By dinnertime, all five eggs had pipped, but the holes were tiny.

At 11pm, it didn't seem like any progress was being made, so I went to bed, convinced they'd hatch while I was asleep. At 12:30, I went to check on them, and sure enough, an egg had hatched (the normally pipped one). I put it in the brooder, and went back to bed. A little after 1am, I checked again, and a second egg had hatched (the one that pipped at the narrow end). Seriously?! It hadn't done anything a half hour earlier! Put it in the brooder and went back to bed.

At 5am, my alarm went off to go to kickboxing. I was too tired to go after my restless night, so I checked the eggs (no progress) and went back to sleep. 

At 6:30, my husband was getting ready to leave for work and asked me when I was going to put the hatchling in the brooder. WHAT?! Again?!  Sure enough, I'd missed the hatching of my third chick. The third chick to hatch had been the last to pip- Indigo, in the darkest egg.

The fourth chick was conscientious enough to hatch while the kids were getting ready for school, so we all got to see it come out. Finally!

The chick of this group who is on the far left had the cutest red head, so I took an individual shot of it:

Aren't they just adorable?!
At this point, I was starting to get worried about the final egg- Beryl. If you see the picture of the eggs, you'll notice it was smaller than the rest, and I was worried that could cause a problem. Beryl had pipped near the floor of the incubator, so I was worried that would make zipping tougher. It had been pipped for 24 hours, and no progress whatsoever had been made.

I tried to sit on my hands and do nothing but be patient. Of course, doing nothing wasn't going to last long for me.

About 26 hours after pip, I peeled back some of the shell. Membrane seemed ok, so I started to cut that away, but a drop of blood emerged, so I immediately stopped and put egg back in incubator.

Four hours later, I thought I'd try cutting the membrane again, as she hadn't made any progress at all.  Again, got a drop of blood, so I stopped and put her back in the incubator and vowed not to touch her again.

At 6pm, 34 or so hours after pip, we went to dinner. Came home and found she'd tried to progress, but found another vein, and had bled some more. Yikes!

At this point, I was truly panicked. I felt like she was weak both from loss of blood and from extended time in egg.

I finally ended up hatching her out. I did this on the web cam, with over 40 people watching. I was really nervous I was going to kill her, but felt like this was her best chance.  Luckily I only encountered a couple of tiny specks of blood. She still had a bit of yolk to absorb, but it was quite tiny, less than a drop. I left her in the incubator overnight, making sure she wasn't laying on her side, but on her belly.

The next morning, she seemed to be doing quite well. Her feathers hadn't fluffed up like the others, and she seemed smaller (maybe the small egg? Maybe the not fluffy? Maybe the extra day of puffing out the others had?). I put her in the brooder with the others, and she's slowly puffing out, and seems to be walking and moving just fine. I think she appears to be perfectly healthy.  Her egg name was Beryl, but my webcam viewers did not care for that name at all. Many name suggestions were given, and I ended up going with Lapis Lazuli, or Zuli for short.

Once she really fluffs out, I'll take a cute picture of her to post.

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