Monday, March 21, 2011

Chick Pics!

Some pictures of the chicks taken a day or so after hatch...

'Do YOU have a cheeseburger?'

Weedcat on the right perfecting his 1000 yard stoner stare.

Running for the camera!

Cutest game of Hide & Seek ever.

The art of camoflage...

It's hard to look regal with something stuck to your head.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chickam Is On!

Hatching started Friday, we now have 8 chicks with two more eggs pipped! Right now the cam is in the brooder box with 6 of the chicks, the others are still in the incubator.

Watch here:

Adults chat here:

Widescreen with no chat, best for kids:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Embryo Count!

With the kid's help, did the egg candling tonight! Here's the breakdown:

Each incubator had 28 eggs for a total of 56 eggs. Out of those, 10 are clear--no signs of any development at all, those were duds and were removed from the incubators. Of the remainder, 21 are uncertain--they have shells too dark to see through so for now we err on the side of caution and assume there are chicks in there. That leaves us with another 25 eggs where we saw development--blood vessels and active, squirming chicks!

It's very exciting to hold new, developing life in your hands like that!

The 10 infertile eggs, there were 4 Cochin and 7 from our flock--3 from either our White Leghorn, Sora or the Polish girls, Poof & Sugar, and 3 from Rugger, our Salmon Faverolle. To be fair to our girls, I haven't seen our roos mating ANY of the possible moms, I just wanted to take a chance and incubate some of their eggs just in case. My roosters are oddballs who do not recognize either of the Polish girls as hens, the dolts. OK, Phoenix mated Poof a few times about two years ago, but I haven't seen anything recently. Poor neglected Polish ladies! I had hopes for Smokey to be doing his thang with any hen that would stand still long enough, and certainly Rugger has been getting caught...but I guess she's a wee bit too young yet. Maybe next year!

Of the 25 developing eggs with oh-so-squirmy-irmy embryos, 12 are light Brahmas, 5 are buff Brahmas and 8 are Giant Cochins! Wow!

The remaining 21 eggs were, like I said, too dark to candle or I was uncertain about. That includes all 10 Birchen Maran eggs (like trying to see through iron, those egg shells!), 4 light Brahma, 5 Giant Cochin, 1 buff Brahma and surprisingly, 1 white egg from our flock that I just couldn't tell with--possible moms are Sora, Poof and Sugar.

So, the infertile eggs have been removed from the incubators so that the machines can concentrate on the 46 good eggs that are left. Twenty-four eggs are in the still air, 22 in the forced air unit. I won't candle again but we'll just go straight through to hatch date and see what comes out!

Pidge Update!

Pidge (highly original name there, eh?) is growing by leaps and bounds! He's off his hocks now and walks around very well--his injuries seem to have healed perfectly and now we can see he has fancy feathered feet!

He for sure has the 'cute' thing down pat...

He's a fine figure of a pigeon. We say 'He' strictly for the sake of convenience, I have no idea if Pidge is a boy or a girl. Meanwhile, he eats like a horse and is disgustingly healthy. He still has a bit of the yellowish baby fluff clinging to his feathers here and there, but is getting some lovely purple and green on his neck feathers. He still cannot fly, but is exercising his wings by flapping a lot. His wings make that distinctlive 'whirring' sound that pigeons have and his little feet almost leave the ground as he flaps around in circles. It's adorable.

He loves to snuggle and enjoys hanging out; with the kid especially and has an intense interest in LEGO--she built him a little pigeon skateboard that he sits on as she gently tows him around on the carpet. He is also unexpectedly a lot smarter than I expected a pigeon to be...but then I've never had a pigeon before.

It's amazing how quickly he has settled in as a pet, much to Nadine's endless disgust. Guardian the house roo tolerates him well, recognizing him as a brainless youngster. We aren't having Pidge and Nadine socialize yet as Pidge is still firmly in the 'food' category for Nadine I suspect...he needs to grow a bit more!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's Dr. Seuss' Birthday!

The man wrote SO many truisms that people really identify with, it's hard to keep track. A couple of my favorites:

"My uncle ordered popovers
from the restaurant's bill of fare.
And, when they were served,
he regarded them with a penetrating stare.
Then he spoke great words of wisdom
as he sat there on that chair:
"To eat these things," said my uncle,
"You must exercise great care.
You may swallow down what's solid,
but you must spit out the air!"
And as you partake of the world's bill of fare,
that's darned good advice to follow.
Do a lot of spitting out the hot air.
And be careful what you swallow."

"Those who mind don't matter and
Those who matter don't mind"

Damned wise words, Theodor!