Let the hatching begin

Our female cat, Nemesis, insisted I follow her to the incubator several times as there was definitely something important happening I needed to see. As usual, she was correct.The cracking had started and we watched obsessively all day, just cracks, wiggling eggs and a bit of chirping.

This morning we were awaken by much louder chirps and three little wet chicks. They are 2 yellow and 1 black little bundles of joy. The breed mix is a Black Australorp rooster and Rhode Island Red hens, both good dual purpose heritage birds.

The brooder will be lit and bedded today in preparation to move these three and any others that hatch in the next 48 hours. The hardest part is not opening the incubator for two days to give them a chance to dry off and the others to  hatch without a loss of humidity and heat. Patience and I might have to stay outside so I don’t blind them with the camera flash all day long.

I can’t imagine this happening in a class room of little kids, as I hear it does. The kids would be uncontrollable, the shrieking and the jostling to look. I’m hyped up and I’m just a wee bit older.

For our first attempt at using an incubator we are thrilled that,basically, we did not mess up and they are alive. Every morning calling out to each other,”Did you roll the eggs?”, “How’s the heat?”,  “The humidity? Did you add water, open a vent?”. It has been a communication contest. We did good.

On wards, with confidence, to more fertilized eggs and the dreams of breeding from our own flock.

For now, adding incubating/hatching to our mental list of skills acquired.


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