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Lucky Again

May
29

If I had a dollar for every time I turned those eggs in my incubator the last three weeks, I’d be pretty poor. I bet I could count on one hand the number of times I actually managed to turn them three times a day. I’ve got too much going on this spring. I kept forgetting. And the more I forgot, the more I didn’t want to turn them because turning them just reminded me to feel guilty about when I hadn’t turned them.


By the second week, I thought about throwing them out because I’d been so terrible about the turning. But then I’d think about Lucky and what a lovely hen she grew up to be after the accidental incubator overheating that ruined every egg in the batch but her.

So I stuck it out, which wasn’t difficult since I kept forgetting to turn them. I didn’t bother candling them since I knew they were ruined anyway. I completely lost track of time since I’d put them in there, and yesterday I went over to the incubator thinking about what a waste of time this was to go turn them. I picked up the incubator lid and–

Screamed and dropped it.
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That little chick flopping around in there scared me half to death.

I guess that turning thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. (That’s a little incubator humor for you.)
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There were 26 eggs in the incubator, mostly green and blue eggs. A few brown eggs. Three banty eggs. Four duck eggs. These are eggs from my own flock, so this could be Mean Rooster’s baby. Do you see a resemblance? (Say no!!)
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I put half of the eggs in on the first day, but I continued to add eggs for a few more days after I started the incubator, so more may hatch over the next several days, not to mention the duck eggs–which have a longer incubation period anyway. Six chicks have hatched so far. With four roosters, I figure they’re mostly fertile eggs in there, but I doubt I’ll have a great hatch rate due to my turning deficiency.

And to think, I was so sure there would be no more chicks this spring and that all I was doing with these eggs was marking time till I could pitch them, I had just put away the brooder! We gotta get it back out now because–

Look what we made!
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See one of my baby chicks breaking out of its shell:

See my latest feature story in today’s Charleston Daily Mail.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 29, 2009  

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  1. 5-29
    1:29
    am

    OMG how cute!!!! That is so funny the chick made you scream haha. You should name it Jason or Freddie or something hehe. :chicken:
    Ok, bad joke. And I love the pic of Number Nine. Kittens are the most adorable thing ever! He sure looks like he’s fared well with the kitten bottle. He’ll be such a good cat for you. Can’t wait to see more kitten pics! So many new babies, love it!

  2. 5-29
    2:43
    am

    I think baby chicks are so cute. Down at the Around the Farm store they have a lot of little chicks and they have signs not to touch. I told the guy I knew why they put up those signs, cause I just wanted to touch them so much.

  3. 5-29
    3:06
    am

    Hi! They are absolutely adorable! :happyflower:

  4. 5-29
    3:24
    am

    Daily Farm Photo-
    Nine looks healthy and happy doing ‘cute cat’ tricks.
    We’ve all heard that cats have nine lives.
    He is the ninth addition to the cat clan.
    I’m sure that 9am/pm was involved somehow.
    And on and on..his name was destined to be Number Nine.

    Maybe there will be nineteen chicks hatch from your homemade batch of eggs.What luck.
    Gotta love it…..just got the brooder put away… timing!
    More babies!

  5. 5-29
    5:09
    am

    So cute! Hard to imagine that mean rooster started so cute!

  6. 5-29
    5:21
    am

    Oh. Oh. Oh. Takes my breath away. Love the picture of the trio! Sweet Nine is growing so much! Have a great day.

  7. 5-29
    6:06
    am

    Congrats on the good fortune! Maybe these new baby boys will teach the mean rooster a thing or two! :snoopy:

  8. 5-29
    6:06
    am

    That is my favorite part of having chickens. They are all so cute when they are born and they immediately act chicken-y. We have an incubator with an automatic turner in it. You really should invest. We have a batch in right now that should hatch next week. Lots of Silkies! The only bad thing about the incubator we are using is you can’t see in it hardly at all. I love seeing them pip, then zip and work so hard to get out.

  9. 5-29
    6:09
    am

    Aww, they are so stinkin’ cute! I think you lucked out again. I don’t think they are Mean Rooster’s babies. I’m not a genetics expert, but he seems to carry the barred gene and these babies don’t look like they will be barred. From what I understand the barred gene is dominant. Of course they could feather out later and fool us.

  10. 5-29
    6:14
    am

    So cute!
    Congratulations, Suzanne and company!

  11. 5-29
    6:22
    am

    Lots of Ooooh and Aaahh here. Congratulations! You are a new mom again! :clover:

  12. 5-29
    6:35
    am

    I do see the resemblance….it’s Mean Rooster JR!! :lol:

  13. 5-29
    6:48
    am

    Oh those little chicks are so darn cute !!! Congrats on your additions.
    Also Number Nine is adorable !!

  14. 5-29
    6:55
    am

    I love the way the already-hatched chick works so hard to get close to his hatchling brother/sister! He just wants a little cuddle.

  15. 5-29
    7:06
    am

    Adorable video (and pics) thanks for sharing with all of us!

  16. 5-29
    7:07
    am

    So cute! Loved watching the chick hatch! What a struggle. It was cute when the other chick “hopped” over the eggs to see what his/her brother/sister was doing.
    Number Nine…too cute. Love kittens!

  17. 5-29
    7:14
    am

    Oh thank you for putting up that video! My four year-old was just fascinated. (So was my twelve year-old and me.) We had fun putting words to the peeps and actions of both the hatching chick and the one already out. I plan on doing chicks next year in our backyard so this helps the kids know what to expect. :hug:

  18. 5-29
    7:19
    am

    Here’s my hatching wisdom. Keep the incubator closed up and put lots of water in it. The rest will get stuck in the shell and won’t be able to hatch if you leave the top off the incubator. The membranes dry out so much the chicks just can’t make it out. Humidity for hatching needs to be somewhere around 60%. Since you have a staggered hatch you will have to open it up, but do it as little as possible to give the rest a chance to hatch.

  19. 5-29
    7:23
    am

    Thanks for the pictures and especially the video of the chicks. This city girl loved seeing what she’s been missing out on. And if you decide that nine cats are too much for you, I’d be glad to provide a home for that sweet kitten. I only have three cats, so I’d be glad to take another one.

  20. 5-29
    7:26
    am

    OH, those heavenly peeps! Thank you so much for making and posting the video. It’s been over 40 years since I kept eggs in a classroom, taking them home on weekends to turn and watch. I enjoyed watching them hatch as much as the kids did. And when I took the babies home the first day, I put them in with my guinea pig and I swear they decided she was their mother! You’re doing a great job, Farmer Suzanne. And Simba AKA #9 has turned out beautifully! :chicken:

  21. 5-29
    7:34
    am

    How cool is that!! I had :lol: thinking about opening the lid and dropping it upon seeing a chick peeping up at you. :chicken:

  22. 5-29
    7:47
    am

    You must have turned the eggs enough. :clover: Now I can say I’ve seen a baby chick hatch! That was great!Sure is cute the way it’s sibling came to welcome him into the world.And, No;9 is the cutest little fur ball I ever did see.

  23. 5-29
    7:52
    am

    That whole hatching business looks exhausting. I need a cup of coffee.

    Also, I love how the one chick played cheerleader. “You can do it! Just a little more! Go! Go! Go!”

  24. 5-29
    9:14
    am

    Oh, CONGRATS! Being a city girl who stumbled on this site when I did a search for a bread recipe, I am just engrossed with the beauty of it all. I am seriously ready to make the move and become your neighbor. Those baby chicks are something to behold! So many things that we city folk take for granted. Chickens :chicken: come from the grocery store, right? I will be sure to show this to my children, I think they will truly get a kick out of it. Thanks for posting this!

  25. 5-29
    9:29
    am

    Wow. That was an amazing video. And that other chick seemed to be cheerleading the hatching chick on!

  26. 5-29
    9:33
    am

    :shimmy: Oh the joy of motherhood! Been there, done that often in the past 16 yrs. I still get so excited when everything goes right and your chicks start hatching. IT”S WONDERFUL!!! Ducks, guineas, chickens, turkeys. I love it. I even helped a classroom of 2nd and 3rd graders hatch an incubator full. I have been known as the “Chicken Lady” also the “Snake Lady” for no tkilling the oak snakes that we dind in our chicken house every summer. I just cart them off about 10 miles away or they will return. One year my husband and I know we caught several of the same snakes more than once. We were only taking them about 2 miles down the road. They aren’t poisonous, but they love to eat the eggs and the young birds. Oh, the joys of motherhood ! Enjoy the miracle of birth….

  27. 5-29
    9:48
    am

    What a fun surprise, I hope the others hatch as well! :yes:

  28. 5-29
    9:55
    am

    I’m becoming addicted to your You Tube videos. So much fun!!

  29. 5-29
    10:00
    am

    wow, i can’t believe how noisy the baby chicks are! the video was so cute! my 11 year old watched it with me and he loved it too!

  30. 5-29
    10:14
    am

    Oh, I LOVE the chick video. Thank you so much for sharing. My lovebird heard the “chick cheerleader” and joined in. She loves to imitate other birds. I’ll play it again just for her, maybe she can see the chick hatch too. They work so hard and it is so exhausting to get out of the shell. Then all that work to hold up the huge head. Life can be soooo hard!

  31. 5-29
    10:28
    am

    Thanks for sharing! That chick worked so hard and was so exhausted after it emerged from the shell. I had no idea!

  32. 5-29
    10:46
    am

    I had eggs in the incubator and turned them once a day..for more than a week…in the meantime..the temp, dropped to 80 for a whole day.
    Than I was reading up on it..and figured out..I needed to turn them more often.
    I started right than turning them twice a day.
    On day 21 I had 2 beautiful chicks.

    So I think people are overreacting a bit..with all their turning and spraying etc.
    I mean..does mama chickens has a water bottle beside her nest?? :lol:

    Congrat on the chicks…they are sooo cute…and no that one doesn’t look like mean rooster at all… :yes:

  33. 5-29
    11:17
    am

    Too, too, cute! Good to know you don’t have to go to all that work to turn the eggs…or at least to feel guilty for not turning the eggs!

  34. 5-29
    11:37
    am

    Oh how fun was that!! My sis Barb sent me to visit. My preschoolers were glued to the screen!! Thanks for sharing!! Whoo hoo – baby chicks!!! Congratulations, Sarah :duck:

  35. 5-29
    12:12
    pm

    Oh my gosh those are the most ADORABLE chicks!!! I’ve never seen an egg hatch like that and it’s so cute how that one goes over to the new chick and watches it hatch and then gets right next to it. You are a lucky mom! :)

  36. 5-29
    1:07
    pm

    Oh, Suzanne, I just adore the chickens. I’m so glad you have more hatchlings, and thank you for the video!

  37. 5-29
    1:26
    pm

    Hey Suzanne, get you an automatic egg turner. They are God’s gift to incubator hatchers! Congrats on the new babies. I ended up with 19 chicks and 5 guineas last weekend.

  38. 5-29
    1:37
    pm

    Baby chicks are so cute!

  39. 5-29
    2:29
    pm

    Ohhh, that was adorable!!!!! And it was funny to watch the othe chick, watching him breakout…he was amazed too, it seemed! The baby kitty is so precious too! :wave:

  40. 5-29
    2:38
    pm

    I loved watching the chick hatch! :chicken:

  41. 5-29
    7:50
    pm

    Sooo cute! Only 3? Will there be any more from that batch of eggs? Hope so! :chicken:

  42. 5-29
    11:38
    pm

    Thank You!!! That was amazing! Don’t you just want to help them!!!! :heart: Have a great day!

    Cama

  43. 5-30
    12:14
    am

    Ah, the miracle of life! We’d love to see more photoes. You did well caring for the eggs – you must have been thrilled to see that first little chick!

  44. 5-30
    5:33
    am

    We’ve done one hatch in our incubator and I was glued to it when they hatched. Out of twelve eggs, five hatched. A couple did get stuck in the shells because the humidity wasn’t quite right, and I had to give them a little hand. I’m still trying to figure out roosters or hens on ours that are about six weeks old. I think the Easter Egger type chickens take longer to show definite boy/girl signs than some of the other breeds.
    ~Jenny~

  45. 5-30
    2:18
    pm

    Those are the cutest little guys! Very cool video of the hatching!

  46. 5-30
    4:34
    pm

    There just so darn cute! I love chicks? How many do you have? Have fun on the farm!!!!!!!!!!! :wave:

  47. 5-30
    5:05
    pm

    Great chick video. My dog started barking at the computer. I guess he’s wanting a chicken of his own. PS. Great to see the next day photo of 9 new chicks. Plus Number 9 doing so well!

  48. 5-31
    2:55
    pm

    Hi! I just sat down to watch the video . . .In the background the pictures of YOUR babies are there ‘watching’ the hatchling. Soooooooo cute.
    Number nine is going to be quite the ladies man! :airkiss: ;)

  49. 12-25
    8:16
    am

    This is so precious, a baby chick comes to investigate one of her “peeps!” My cat Xerox, came to investigate the computers speakers…”hmmm, sounds like there are some birds in those things, but they DON”T smell like birds…where are the birds, I want some birds..” :devil2:

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