Thursday, May 8, 2008

DAY 22, Tuesday, May 6, 2008 (more)

Well, this time I mis-numbered the days. I skipped Saturday because nothing was worth reporting, but then I mis-numbered. Today is really Day 22.

We went to bed last night with 3 chicks fully hatched. This morning at 8:30, we had 12 hatched and 2 hatching. By 9:30 we had 18 chicks!!! Holy cow. Or Holy Chickens! Wow.

I simply cannot believe it; I was just hoping for 3 – one for each kid – after our temperature scare last Thursday and our inconsistent rotating.

At 9:30 we moved the chicks to the Brooder Box. First, we closed the cats in the bedroom. Then, we washed our hands. Next, we opened the incubator and carried them, one by one, to the Brooder Box. I moved the first one and had the kids stand watch over the incubator. Those chicks are daring and I thought they may just hop right out – and have a 3 foot drop to the floor. Whew. Glad that didn’t happen… Then I helped “A” bring one to the Brooder Box. Next I helped “B”, then “C”. After that, “A” pretty much had the hang of it. She and I helped “B” and “C”. Those little prickly feet were freaking “B” out a bit. Once they were all moved, I closed up the incubator and we washed our hands again. Oh, and we let the cats out of the bedroom. I wonder how long it will take for them to notice…

I decided to change the bulb to a 75 watt bulb so that they would stay warm enough. With us peeking at them, we were letting warm air out. If the chicks huddle together, they are too cold. If they are all scattered apart then they may be too warm, so we have to keep an eye on them.

Throughout the day we watched a few more hatch. By 2:00, all the cracked eggs (5 more since 9:30 am) had hatched except one that was still working on it. All day the kids kept asking if we could move them over to the Brooder. Not wanting to keep opening the incubator, I assured them that we would move the other 5 in the evening. Hopefully by then it would be 6.

Man they can be loud! The incessant chirping! One of the cats was caught sitting on the incubator and another was hunting around the Brooder but I don’t think she had it figured out that the birds were inside. They seem to have lost interest since then.

In the early evening, we moved the other 5 to the Brooder. It’s midnight and that other one is still in the shell – cracked halfway down the middle – and chirping. Poor thing. He looks stuck. I’ve read that human help is really discouraged, but it’s breaking my heart to hear him chirp with no more progress. He actually looks stuck. I don’t know what to do.

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