Tuesday, May 6, 2008

DAY 20: Monday, May 5, 2008

This morning, that little protrusion hadn’t really gotten bigger, but the pieces had chipped off. The temperature in the Brooding Box was at 80 and not going up at all. I contacted a couple people at the Extension office and the University and they offered some suggestions. Basically, I was told that I should do whatever I need to in order to get the temperature between 92-95 degrees. I can increase the wattage, add another light, etc. I was also reminded that the thermometer may be defective and it should be at the level of the chicks – so on the bottom of the cage, not hanging up on the side. I knew that from the class, but had forgotten about it.

I took the thermometer out of the incubator and put it on the floor of the cage. Sure enough, it goes right up to 90. OK. Let’s leave it and see if it goes up. I have 3 strips of cardboard that I put over the top so that the heat won’t escape (because heat rises.)

Throughout the day we are noticing changes in the eggs and a gradual progression towards hatching (and the chirping is quiet, but audible):

#4: 10:30 am - small protrusion
#12: noon - small protrusion
#13: late evening - small protrusion
#16: 8:45 pm – hole (this is the one that started last night)
#17: late evening - small protrusion
#18: late evening - small protrusion
#19: late evening - small protrusion
#20: evening - small protrusion
#21: late evening - small protrusion
#25: 10:30 pm - small protrusion
#29: 8:45 pm - small hole
#33: evening - small protrusion
#36: evening - small protrusion

In the evening, “A” was at an athletic event when I went to check on the eggs. A chick was trying to get out of the egg! It was really working at it and hatch was eminent. I called “B” in (“C” was napping). “B” came to look, was interested for about 45 seconds and asked very politely if she could be excused to watch more of her movie. Of course, I’m not going to make her watch this when I have no idea how long it’s going to take. I watched for a another couple of minutes and went back to what I had been doing previously. Not 5 minutes had passed when I heard very loud chirping. When I went to look, there it was! The chick was out! Our first chick had hatched! 7:40 egg #22.

I called in “B” to take another look and tell me what she saw. She was so excited! She immediately asked if she could call dad. When “A” got home, we told her she should go check the eggs and she also was excited to see our first hatchling! Later, when “C” woke up, she, too, was excited.

I went to the store around 9:00 and came home around 10:15. I was expecting the kids to be in bed, but when I opened the front door I heard them saying “Come on, you can do it, come out little chickie, come out!” Then squeals of glee and “oh, it’s almost out!” I quickly made my way to the incubator and saw that #23 was working his way out. Yeah! He emerged at 10:30. Now off to bed for the kids. Before the grownups went to bed, #33 also hatched. We didn’t kill 3 of them! Now let’s wait and see how many more survived our inconsistent turning and greater than 100 degrees on 2 occasions.

#22: 7:40 pm - HATCHED
#23: 10:30 pm - HATCHED
#33: late - HATCHED

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