Friday, June 12, 2009

They're here!

The babies are home! I sterilized the brood box this morning (thank God, it was enough to gag a maggot), got the layers of paper towels down, the light on and the water in, spread some chick starter crumbles (medicated to protect against fatal coccidia), and grabbed a couple of large Ziplock containers (for lack of a cardboard box), and made the approximate 1.5 minute drive from my house to Don and Sally's to pick up the chicks!

There are 19 total, but one little one, probably the same one that was just pipping last night when Paul and I were there, didn't make it out of the shell, and after I heard a cheep from within the egg, Don pulled it gently apart and freed the little one, which was stuck to the membrane inside the shell. It may or may not make it. Don feels it has a 50/50 chance at this point, although it was breathing well and had turned itself from its belly to its butt, legs kicking. I left it there to dry in the incubator, and if all goes well, I'll pick it up tomorrow so it can join its fellows.

Of the 18 at home in the brooder, all but five are black (well, black and yellow, really). There are five large, fluffy yellow chicks, each with one or two black dots on it somewhere. One little guy/girl has a dot right on top of the head, another on the back between its wings. These all have sturdy yellow legs, while most of the black have olive or yellow and olive legs.

I'm so anxious to see how they grow and change when they get their feathers. Of the 19 hatched eggs, only 3 were Easter Egger eggs. I'm pretty sure one black and yellow is an Easter Egger offspring as it has very interesting yellow markings on its face that none of the other black ones have. The yellow chicks are probably all Red Star Sex Link offspring. The leg color doesn't tell me much of anything as Brewster the Rooster (an Australorp) had black legs, the Black Stars had black legs, and all of the Easter Eggers had the characteristic olive (kind of a slate gray) legs.

Regardless, these little darlings are so busy (except when they crash and decide to take a 30 second nap) and noisy! They are, so far, the picture of health, and I hope I can do my part to keep them that way.

Ready for some "Awwwws"?!

All 18, safe in the brooder box.

The five chocolate chippers, all in a row.

Look at that sweet little face!

Baby legs.


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