Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hatching Stats

We started with 25 eggs.
12 Leghorn
13 Australorp
14 chicks hatched and lived. (56%)

  • 8 hatched.  
  • 3 were not fertile through candling.
  • 1 did not pip and died, fully formed, in the egg.
  • Most hatched on Day 23. But hatching ranged from Day 22 to Day 24.
  • The one that hatched on Day 24,  required assistance.
  • 88% of the fertile eggs hatched and produced a live healthy chicks.
  • 6 hatched
  • 5 were not fertile through candling or cracking open.
  • 2 died while hatching.
  • Most hatched on Day 23.  Only one hatched on Day 22 and requiured assistance.
  • 75% if the fertile eggs hatched and produced live healthy chicks.

General Observations: 

The hatching was later than we thought.  None hatched on Day 21.  This could have been due to temperature and humidity fluctuations in the incubator.

We thought all of the eggs would hatch at about the same time.  They did not.  They were spread out over 3 days.

The hatching itself takes a long time.  From the pip to the chick, it took about 12 - 24 hrs.

The Leghorns were quicker and stronger at hatching than the Australorps.

This was a fun group 4-H Project!

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Day 24

Thursday June 3, 2010

The hatching is coming to an end.

The last egg to hatch was White egg #6 (my pick for who would hatch first, LOL!).  It hatched at 10:14 am.

This chick needed a little assistance getting out of the shell and seems very weak. Once out of the shell it was very floppy and wobbly.  It kept flipping over and staying on it's back like a turtle that has turned over.  We gently keep flipping back upright.  With some extra attention, it seems to be OK and we moved it to the brooder about 6 pm.  The other chicks are pecking at the new chick :-(

We candled the other eggs and determined no more are alive or viable.

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Day 23 - Evening

Two more hatched ....

Brown egg #6 at 12:20 pm
Brown egg #4 at 2:50 pm

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hatching Video!

This is the video I promised to post of white Leghorn chick #3 hatching at 5:50 pm on Tuesday June 1, 2010.  The entire process took nearly a day....from the pip, until completely out of the egg.  We've clipped that into two 5 minute videos.  These little guys work so hard to get out!

Leghorn Hatch Part 1

Leghorn Hatch Part 2

All hatched out and resting.

Fluffed out and ready to go.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 23 - Morning

Morning, Wednesday June 2, 2010

What a night! Between 11 pm and 8 am we had 8 chicks hatch!  All with no assistance.

This is newly hatched chick brown # 5.

Pip and Zip!  Lots of eggs in the process of hatching.

Brown #9,  white #7 and  brown #5 waiting to dry off and fluff up.

White #11 just hatched.  This one is exhausted and look at those huge feet!

Nine chicks in the brooder getting dry and fluffy.

Chick white #2.  It hatched in 10th place. (Ramona's pick for the hatching contest!)

Here's a list of who hatched when last night:

11:40 pm ( late Tuesday night): Brown #5
12:33 am: White #7
12:37 am: Brown #9 
12:44 am: Brown #10
1:20 am: White #8
3:30 am: White #2
6:20 am: White #11
8:41 am: White #4

There are currently two more eggs piping and zipping...stayed tuned!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 22 - Evening

Tuesday June 1, 2010


We feel as if we are continuous chick midwifes.  It's fun and somewhat stressful at the same time.  So much going on with 25 eggs that are taking a long time to finish hatching.

Happy Birthday to 2 Leghorns!
White #3 hatched at 5:50 pm.  Molly has named this one Nugget.  It's WILD!  Climbing all over everything and cheeping constantly. We have a great video of this chick hatching and we will post it tomorrow.

The second Leghorn hatched at 7:00 pm.  This chick is very big! It hatched very quickly once it got going.
Here are the two newly hatched Leghorns in their "play pen" in the incubator.  The play pen is a small square Rubbermaid dish that keep the chicks contained in one area.  This prevents them from falling over, turning over and pecking the other eggs that are trying to hatch. They stay in the play pen till they are fluffed out and ready for the brooder.

Sad News
Two of the Australorp eggs ( #11 and #2) failed to hatch after they pipped and they died this afternoon.  We think that while the first chick was in the incubator drying off, it turned these two eggs over and they couldn't continue to "unzip" their eggs and get out because they were upside down. We feel so bad about this.  So after this happened, we came up with the play pen idea to keep the other hatching eggs safe.

Most of the other eggs are in some form of piping or unzipping. So look for more chick updates!

Here's the first chick that hatched (Australorp #3), happy and curious in the brooder this afternoon.  Molly named this one Pip.

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We finally had our first chick hatch (with assistance) this morning about 6:45 am!

This little chick began hatching yesterday--Monday morning about 5 am. It began strong, but slow, as it pipped away at the shell.  But as the day wore on, the pipping stopped as well as the loud peeps. At 11 pm all activity stopped. We checked on the egg through the night and feared it may have die. The shell that had been broken by the chick had not changed in size for more than 12 hours.  There was no movement or peeping.

Finally at 6 am Tuesday morning June 1, 2010 we decided to take the egg out of the incubator and see if it had any life. It peeped a few soft peeps. The chick seemed "stuck" in the shell--not very much moisture and the membrane had dried.  We decided to gently help it get out of it's shell.  

Once it was out,  we gently put it back in the incubator. It laid for a while then slowly began to move around. After an hour or so it was loud and active. YAY!

So, Happy Birthday Australorp Egg #3!

Please note: we don't recommend helping chicks hatch except as a last ditch effort to save the chick.  The chick had gone way beyond the expected hatch time and movements had stopped for a long time. We didn't want this little one to die.

Update on the other eggs:
Pips on the following eggs have begun: White eggs: #2, #7, #8 and Brown #10. There may be others, but the little chick has moved all the eggs around as it's drying off in the incubator. 

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Day 21 - Piping video

Monday May 31, 2010

Here's a video of Brown Egg #3 piping on Day 21 in the early afternoon.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 21 - 10:40 pm

Well, it's been a long day here.  No chicks have hatched YET.

Brown egg #3 , who pipped this morning at 6 am is still going.  The little chick stalled out for a while and then began pipping again in earnest about 2 pm.  The pip hole is now about the size of a nickel.  I've read that they pip, then "zip"--meaning they zip open a line in a counterclockwise circle around the egg, then push the two halves apart and hatch.  Well, nobody told this little chick! I am beginning to feel sorry for it as it seems to be getting tired.  We'll see what happens through the night.

We have increased the humidity to 75% in hope of making things easier for the chicks.

Good news....two more pips tonight!

Brown egg #5 pipped @ 8:30 pm
White egg #8 pipped @ 8:56 pm

Brown egg #1 may have a pip--we're not sure yet.

I hope we have some chicks in the morning!

To the 4-H'ers in our group....stop by to see the pips and hopefully chicks!

Day 21 -- 7 am

WE HAVE A PIP! And.....we can hear chirping!

Brown Egg # 3 is the first to pip!  Molly was the first to discover this about 7 am this morning.

Emily was the first to hear the chirping last night about 1 am.  Molly heard it this morning again too. We're not sure which egg is chirping.  

Molly also saw brown egg #10 rocking/moving, but no pip yet.

Stay tuned!

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 20

Sunday May 30, 2010

Temps  ( 99° - 100°) and humidity (65%)  holding steady.

Day 20 Embryo Development: Yolk has been absorbed. Embryo becomes a chick, breathing in the air cell. Pipping begins.

We add  1-2 ounces of water to the sponge tray about once a day in the evening to keep the humidity high.  The windows on the incubator are beginning to fog up.

We also got the brooder ready.  The brooder is the "nursery" for the baby chicks once they have hatched.  The chicks stay in the brooder about 4 - 6 weeks.  Molly was a big help by helping clean the brooder container, and the feed and water trays.  Then, she helped set it up this afternoon in our garage.

We're ready!

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Day 19

Saturday May 29, 2010

Day two of lock-down. Temps are 99° - 100°. Humidity 65% - 69%.

Day 19 Embryo Development - Beak pips into the air cell and chick begins to breath. Yolk sac begins to enter body cavity


We keep looking through the windows of the incubator to see if we can see any pips.

A pip hole is a small crack or hole which is made in an egg by a chick as it prepares to hatch. The appearance of pip holes is generally viewed as a sign that chicks are on the way, as the chicks generally fully emerge within a day or so of creating the pip hole. The process of breaking out of the shell is known as pipping.

Don't forget to cast your vote on which egg will hatch first.  See post on Day 18.

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