It is spring time and for us, that usually means a trip to the local feed store to pick out a few new additions to our flock. But this year we decided to do something a little different. This year we are trying our hand at hatching our own chicks!
At the beginning of winter, I won a dozen hatching eggs. Well, winter in Michigan is no time to be hatching baby chicks. I had no desire to have chickens living in my house for months, so I arranged that the eggs be shipped as soon as the weather turned nice enough.
We got word that our eggs had shipped and let me tell you, the oldest country kid paced the floors for days waiting for the mail lady to bring our package. The day they arrived, you would have thought it was Christmas, with sequels of glee and leaping off of furniture.
We already had the incubator up and running so it could be dialed in to the proper temperature and humidity, 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 45-50% humidity. All we had to do is unpack our eggs and get them in the incubator. There was so much babble wrap in that little egg carton, and none of the eggs had been damaged during shipping!
We took a pencil and marked each egg with an X on one side and an O on the other because we are hand turning the eggs. These marks make it possible to know it is been turned over properly. We are turning our eggs three times a day.
I am not the most patient person in the world. I really wanted to know how many eggs were actually developing. I was excited at the one week mark that we have 8 viable, developing eggs! The egg on the left was not fertile, while the egg on the right shows vein development in the egg.
It has been incredible so far to see the eggs developing. In just over a week, you can see little birds moving in their shells when you candle them. The have a vary big dark eye. We have even seen a foot or two wiggling! The eggs are also gaining weight. They are becoming so “full” of developing chicks it is getting harder to see them as they are not as transparent as they once were. Fingers crossed that around April 10th we will be welcoming 8 new little lives to the world!
While we wait for hatching day, enjoy a little video of one of our dancing chicks……