Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last hatch for 2012 (maybe)

After our wildly successful blue laced red wyandotte hatch, I had another teacher ask me if I'd do a hatch for her class.  I thought that sounded like a fine idea, so I set eggs around 4pm on Tuesday, May 8. I'd given my lavender ameraucana cockerel in trade for hatching eggs.  I got three coronation sussex, one silver sussex, one olive egg, one ameraucana, and one brown egg (parentage is unsure, I grabbed it out of the eating eggs basket after declaring another ameraucana egg to be not good for hatching).

This hatch just hasn't gone very well. In fact, I'd say that it's been my worst ever.

At 10 days in, I had to throw out two of the coronation sussex and one of the silver sussex. I never was able to candle the olive egg; it was way too dark inside. At lockdown, I had to throw out the ameraucana egg, it appeared to have quit at 2 weeks along.

At 8am on Tuesday (so 8 hours shy of day 21), the brown egg (Shirley) and the olive egg (Emily) had both pipped.

At 2pm, all three were pipped, and the coronation sussex seemed to be doing the best.

At 4pm (start of day 21), I went to set up the hatching cam, and I felt uneasy about the coronation sussex. I can normally see movement in the egg or chirping. And if I don't, I can tap the incubator and that wakes them up. I didn't see anything like that with the coronation sussex.

At 5:30pm, the brown egg hatched. The chick looks an awful lot like a marans, but the legs are clean and the wrong color. Shirley pushed the other two eggs off camera so we couldn't see what was happening, and then stretched out for the camera. May have to rename her Diva.

I went to bed at 11pm, and nothing had changed.

At 6am, I checked, and it appears Emily has hatched, and it appears to be a yellow chick. Wow!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Update on my January chicks

I had five of my January hatched chicks survive to adulthood. I rehomed the three cockerels, but haven't gotten pictures lately. I'm sure if I ask, my friend will take new ones. When she does, I'll edit them in.

I kept the two pullets.

They're coming up on 6 months old now, and I'm guessing they'll start laying within the month. 

This is "Godzilla". First one out, and was the blonde looking one in my original pictures.

I can't remember what I named this chick. I went back through my blog, and figured out that my daughter named her Daisy. So. This is Daisy. LOL

She turned out quite pretty.

Neither of them are squatting yet, but their combs are getting redder by the day.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rooster for Food

I knew that it was inevitable when raising chicks. I can't keep every single rooster I hatch and raise. Thus far, I've sold/given away a total of 9 roosters. The majority of those went to people who actually wanted to have a living rooster around. One person took three roosters, admitting that she was most likely going to eat two, but she wasn't sure WHICH two, and was going to grow them out a bit longer.

I was surprised that I had that many going to a living home, and not being dinner. I'd always said in my ads that I was ok with the roosters being dinner, as long as they were dispatched humanely, and I honestly mean it. I eat meat. I enjoy eating chicken. I'm just too squeamish to raise and slaughter my own meat. I feel like my chickens have it way better than commercially grown chickens.

I had a total of four blue laced red wyandottes roosters that I was looking to rehome. One went to a guy who answered an ad, and he claimed to want to use him to breed. He convinced me he was legit, and was choosing his rooster based on which one had the nicest feathers and body shape. Another is going to my next door neighbor who wants a new rooster, as hers is not quite right in the head. A third will go to someone looking to breed him as well.

I got a new buyer for the fourth one today. He texted me and wanted to get him today, if possible. For whatever reason, I didn't want him to come to my house, so I offered to drop him off on my travels today.

When I got there, it was a couple of young boys- late teens, early 20s. I asked him if they planned to eat him, and he admitted they did. I told him I was ok with that, as long as they slaughtered him humanely, and he said they would. I handed him over, and he was gentle enough, but he handed him to one of his friends, who started to carry him into the house. I don't know why he started freaking out, but the cockerel did start freaking out, like he was being held funny or in pain or something. It was a little upsetting to me, and left me feeling a bit squicked out. My 7 year old was in the car, and she heard the squawking, and was quite upset. I also felt like the guy was handling him like a package of meat, and not like a living creature.

The whole thing has left me feeling a bit melancholy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Final Hatch Report

All right, so as I mentioned before, I set seven eggs at 2pm on a Thursday.

At 7:30am or so on Thursday, 3 weeks later, my first chick (Dolphin) hatched. I came in at 8am, and saw that Dolphin was hatched, and Bryan had pipped.

At 11:00am, when I came to get the webcam set up, CJ had also pipped.

At 3:30 pm, Bryan hatched. Fred had a tiny pip.

6:40am: Andy hatches.

Ginger, CJ, and Erin pipped sometime Thursday night.

11:30-1pm: Ginger, CJ and Erin hatch.

1:30: I look at helping Fred, but when I peel back some of the egg, I can see that there's still veining in the membrane, so I put the egg back in the incubator, and leave to go on a two day trip, albeit very nervously.


8:30am: Fred (FINALLY) hatches.

Are you counting that folks?  SEVEN OUT OF SEVEN HATCHED!!!!!!!!! And they were incubated in a first grade classroom!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hatch Day!

I'm going to try to keep better track of timing for my hatches, so that way I know better when I should stress out.

I set these eggs around 2pm on a Thursday.  On Monday at 4pm, I put them into lockdown.

Wednesday afternoon, there was nothing going on- no pips anyway.

Thursday morning, I went to the school at 8am, and discovered that Dolphin had hatched! She looked to be very recently hatched, within the past 30 minutes or so.  Bryan was pipped.

So, my thinking is that day 21 doesn't start until 2pm, so I believe that makes Dolphin a bit on the early side?

The kids were doing testing, and I didn't want to disrupt too much, so I didn't move Dolphin to the brooder or set up the webcam until 11am Thursday. At that point, CJ had also pipped.

Here's a photo of Dolphin. Beautiful dark chick!

I am so excited to have a webcam going for this hatch because that means I can check up on the eggs whenever I want, without disrupting the class.