Claire’s incubator has worked wonders and over the weekend we have seen lots of chicks fight their way out of their eggs and come out to see the light of day. It is a fascinating process to watch and we have had quite a part of people round on Sunday afternoon to watch and greet the new arrivals.
We have set up 20 eggs in the fabulous new incubator Claire has bought and they are coming on well. We expect to see signs of chicks next week (we will be listening for cheeping on 28 May)!
Thanks to Claire for a highly informative and fun afternoon learning about all things to do with chickens.
The afternoon was beautifully warm, enabling all 14 of us to enjoy Claire’s garden complete with pond, hens, ducks, rabbits and a reticent pheasant. We started with tea and cake, then moved on to the serious business of how to keep hens!
We saw the chicks that had been hatched from our first batch of eggs.
Claire has lots of her own chickens and the children saw all the different foods they love to eat, and some they hate (demonstrated beautifully by the hens), and looked at various sizes and colours of eggs, matching them to the hens. One hen was especially cuddly! We learned about hen diseases, houses and fox-proofing, seeing the aftermath of Mr Cunning Fox’s determination to rip the doors off a hen house (teethmarks).
Here is the latest news from Claire on the eggs: The hen is showing her inexperience.
Most of her remaining eggs are too far to the edge and have gone cold. Last night she hatched the only buff Sussex egg but the poor thing crawled out of the nest and was found cold and dead a couple of feet away. She still has the first live chick safely under her but needs to take it out to feed by this evening. I’ll make sure this happens – it will probably mean removing all her eggs.
Two eggs are struggling to hatch in the incubator – they’ve broken through the shell but may be a bit weak. The one that hatched on Monday was the only egg that was in the middle of the incubator just under the light so obviously much warmer. I’m bidding on a super-dooper no failures professional incubator on ebay for the next attempt.
Eleanor, Claire and Helen bought 20 eggs a while back and Claire has had 10 in an incubator and 10 under a broody hen. Despite various traumas (incubator let some get rather too hot during the warm spell and hen was not happy about having to be moved recently) we now have 3 chicks with others on the way! We will be looking for people who can look after these when they are ready to leave their “mother” – so come along to the Chicken Egg-stravaganza to find out what is involved.