The chicken eggs have started hatching. When I went into the feed shed this morning, where the chickens had chosen to sit, I was greeted by faint peeping and fluffed up, clucking hens, who eyed me suspiciously. Braving the danger of death by pecking, I lifted the struggling hens and saw a couple of tiny baby chicks, some still wet and only half out of the egg. I let them get on with it, but it was very hard not to sit and stare all the time. A miracle!
I got my chance to sit and stare at home. In my new mini-incubator, chicks were also hatching. We all watched as three little dinosaurs broke though their shells, zipped the eggs open neatly and pushed the two egg halves apart. They all do the same thing. I wonder how they know..? They spent some time in the brooder drying, then being held and admired by all of us, and then I brought them to the hens with newly hatched chicks. The incubator chicks were adopted without question. That went smoothly!
At the moment, there are another two trying to hatch. I’m drinking coffee and writing to the sound of muffled peeps, ticking and scratching. Yes, the incubator is right next to my computer. I work from home, so rather than not getting any work done because I’m too busy staring at the eggs, I decided to combine the two. Clever thinking, isn’t it?
Anyway, I’m very pleased this incubator is doing its job well. I’m planning a hatching project at my children’s school. I tried it last year as well, but I had a crappy Chinese incubator and only one out of seven eggs hatched. It took us considerable time, effort and money to get the new incubator here. I ordered it over eBay from Ireland. We had to get permission from the Ministry of Agriculture, drive to Tel Aviv to collect it and pay three hundred shekel tax. But it looks as if it was worth it.
Sadly, the quail eggs are not doing nearly as well as the chicken eggs. I’m afraid that was my fault. One of the little quail hens was sitting on a nest of eggs, but instead of keeping the others away from her, I let them all continue to lay in the nest. At some point, she had so many eggs that it was impossible for her to keep them all warm. As a result, nothing hatched. I took all the eggs and gave her some new ones, because she wasn’t giving up, and closed the inside door in the cage, so she can brood undisturbedly. So the countdown to 17 days starts again.
I did candle the old eggs before I threw them out. There was some movement in some, so I popped them in the incubator. They have been in there for a few days now but show no signs of hatching… Hopefully the next batch will be more succesful. Like these little fuzzbutts! 💜