We have 3 cute little chicks – still not fully fluffed up – and another egg cheaping away.  Last night when I went to bed – feeling terrible (and I’ll tell you why soon but you may not like me anymore when you read it) – there were 2 little black chicks lying among the eggs recovering from there journey out of the shells.  One had taken about 6 hours (ashamed to say with help before I realised that they actually can birth themselves) and the other just over 12 hours from hole formation. When I woke up this morning my first words to Pete were “I have to go and see if any of the chicks are alive” and he repsonded by telling me that there was a lot of noise at 4am and it sounded like more than 2 chicks.  He was right as racing around the incubator was a partially fluffy yellow chick which was doing it’s best to annoy it’s older, smaller siblings.

Confession time – Yesterday I was like a child waiting for these chicks to hatch and it was all I could do to keep my fingers out of there and after the second chick took so long (in acutal fact they can take up to 24 hours without problems) I decided that the rest of the eggs were no longer viable.  I raised each one and listened carefully – not tapping, no cheaping – so I took them outside and broke them open.  The first 2 were non viable – just runny egg yolks – 1 had not grown past about day 10 and the last 2 were fully gown babies.  I felt sick – they would have hatched if I’d left them be.  I put them back in the incubator but the damage was done.  I can’t tell you how bad I felt last night – I found it hard to eat.

Lesson learnt – LET NATURE TAKE IT’S COURSE and leave the eggs alone until they hatch themselves.  My heat may not be even and the eggs are all different sizes so with the next batch that is due on Monday I will leave them for a week after their due date before disposing of them (over kill in time but I don’t care).  Luckily for my lovely yellow chick I missed that egg last night.

Pictures soon when they are fluffy – don’t want to shock them before they have recovered from the ordeal of hatching!

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