Sunday, May 16, 2010

No Chicks This Time

Our first natural hatch didn't turn out well.  Days 21 and 22 came with no peeps or pips from inside the eggs.  We were down to 8 eggs from the original dozen on hatch day.  Lola had either eaten them or they had exploded and covered the remaining eggs in goo.  A few of the 8 that were left had developed to a certain point, but didn't make it for the duration.

I took Lola out of the brooding box this morning.  She was all wet underneath and the nest was yucky.  Once she got outside, she seemed happy to be relieved of her duties and went around the yard looking for bugs.  She came back later in the day and looked for her nest, but so far no signs of brooding again.  Hopefully she'll get back to laying eggs soon.

Since Lola started brooding a couple months ago, 3 more hens have decided they want to hatch eggs, too.  We're going to try again with another 10 eggs under a little silkie girl tonight.  We're going to move the brooding box inside the barn to be able to keep it completely dry.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Wait for Chicks

We tried to candle the dozen eggs that Lola is trying hatch a couple nights ago.  Having never done it before and not wanting to have the eggs away from her for very long, we didn't get a real good idea of how many eggs looked viable.  I could definitely see formations in some of them, but couldn't see anything in the green eggs. 

This morning when I went out to the brooding box to be sure she had food and water, I found one egg outside the nest and it was covered with goo - like she had deliberately removed it from the nest.  (Would a hen do that??)

I lifted Lola up to check on the others and she only had 10 eggs left.  It looks like one of them broke or exploded (which can sometimes happen when the egg isn't fertilized and it's being heated constantly from the hen sitting on it).  It also appears that she ate most of it after it opened up.  There was some pieces of shell leftover. 

The 10 remaining eggs are messy now with whatever came out of the broken egg and I don't know whether they'll be able to survive.  Not sure whether I should try to clean them up or just let nature take its course.  Research time!