Sorry I have been MIA for a while. I have been up to my neck in incubators, chicks, chickens, kids, dogs, bees, rabbits, ect, ect, ect.
First topic, birds. I went out of town for a week and came home to find out that my house sitter had put my broody hen back in the coop with the rest of the chickens by accident. Luckily her eggs had only been left unattended for 24 hours or so and I fired up the incubator. Out of the seven eggs under the hen, three were clear (unfertile) and four were only a few days away from hatching. I actually saw one of the chicks jump in the egg when candled. Out of the four eggs, one died from being left in the nest too long without the hen and three began to hatch. I had issues with my incubator and two of the chicks shrink wrapped ( the membrane gets too dry and shrinks around the chick suffocating them). The lone remaining chick pipped at the wrong end and had to be helped...a lot. I ended up picking away all of the upper half of the egg so all she had to do was stretch and tear the membrane. She was too weak. I pulled the membrane off her head and picked away more of the shell. At this point all she had to do was pull her head out from under her wing and stretch. She was still too weak. I have a video of my three boys and a neighbor kid whistling at her to encourage her while I petted her wing and head to stimulate her into moving. She finally flopped out of the shell and into my hand but was still too weak to kick out of the lower half of the shell. I put her back in the incubator to gain her strength. After and hour she still only had one leg out of the shell and struggling to figure out how to kick free. After checking that she had absorbed the yolk, I realized she was still attached to the membrane by several strings of goo. I crushed the remaining shell to avoid her kicking against it and disemboweling herself and cut through the strings of goo close to her unbilical cord. I put her back in the incubator to dry off and get strong. By morning she was screaming for breakfast and running around the incubator looking for friends. She actually started to bond with the sponge I put in for humidity. I feather sexed her and she is indeed a hen!! I found her some friends that were being given away and they are all snuggling happily together in my laundry room.
I also acquired a pair of blue laced red wyandottes! I have looked for this breed for over a year now. The chicks I hatched out last year were blue laced red wyandottes (BLRW for short) but they both were roosters. I am so excited for these birds!
Will blog about the other topics later.