Saturday, 25 February 2012

Our First Incubator hatch on Day 22

We had borrowed a little round incubator from a neighbor and tried to hatch some eggs.
We started to see some developments at around 4pm on April 7th.  I had written down the 7th for the 1st hatch.  So here's the breakdown as of 1 pm on April 8th.  Our temperature may have actually been a little lower than 99, so our hatch is a little slower???  We finished April 9th.  Way too long!

1st pip ~ April 7th 4 pm  hatched "Joel" at 7:30am  Joel is big and boisterous and has a little black line down his head and looks like he is wearing black "Cleopatra" eye makeup. Joel turned out to be a nice big hen!
2nd pip ~ April 7th 6 pm. Mei's marked egg.  Started from the pointy end "breech"...I moistened it a little as the feather's were stuck to the membrane and within 1 hour it hatched at 12:45 pm April 8th.
3rd - 6th pips ~ by 10 pm April 7th.
7th & 8th pips ~ 6:30am and 7 am.
3rd pip hatched April 8th at 10 am.  Joel encouraged Victoria ( Osteen) to come of the egg.
The rest of the eggs are taking their sweet time.  I think the incubator may have some temperature variations within it.  Tonight should see some more action.
Kate's photo through the ventilation hole.  She thought the photo was weird, I think it's cool.

I finally got a shower in, girls were laughing at my hair.  In my defense, I just took the towel off and the girls called me to "quickly come look at this!"

First coming out, all balled up tight.

What was the chicks home for 21 days!

The tooth is on the left, this little one made it out safe and sound

On the left you'll see a plastic's from my Pampered Chef perfectly over the fan area, as some chicks were getting caught (not hurt though)  Thanks Gab!

Kate and her friend made this cute sign!  "Chick Hotel"

One of my all time favorite pictures...he's posing!

For follow-up, we lost 15 hoo.  They were all mature, but either pipped and died or didn't pip at all.  It was so incredibly sad.  We put so much effort into getting everything right.  We knew it was to be a learning experience and that maybe the incubator would have some problems.  As far as my research tells me, my thermometer may have been reading higher than it was.  If I do this again (besides next week, when the Havo-Bator starts hatching) I would calibrate the thermometer.  If the temperature is too low, they take longer to mature and may be weaker.  ALSO, incorrect positioning may have been the reason lots of ours just couldn't pip out.   I believe God gave us animals and us brains to take care of them and use them for our benefit...eggs, meat, enjoyment, etc.  We so loved our little eggs, so it was hard to see some die.  We felt like we were partnering with God in this venture, and although we have sure learned a lot, we felt like we let Him down...we most likely caused some of His beautiful little creatures to parish.  
There is a saying that goes something like this "You can tell a man's heart in the way that he treats his animals".  We felt just sick about losing some eggs.  I haven't been able to eat hardly anything, so happy everything is now over until the next ones start.  I just want to be a good steward of all God gives me.
The chicks are beautiful and cute and I will fall asleep listening to them Cheep Cheep Cheep again tonight!
I'll see if I can figure out how to upload a video of a full egg hatch tomorrow!
Thanks for all your interest and encouragement and advice everyone!

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