As I hinted the last blogpost, the baby chicks have hatched. The timing was less than ideal. Having baby chicks hatching the day I'm packing for a show, was not in the plan. Let alone leaving young chicks for my Dad to look after. Chick 6 in particular gave us all some nervous moments.
Hatching started on Monday
I went to bed and there were 2 eggs that had tiny cracks.
And woke up to this
Chicks 3 and 4 followed with very little fuss.
Eggs 5 and 6 however, did not proceed so smoothly. By Wednesday morning however, with the help of a little warm water to raise the humidity of the shell, and soften it, we had chick number 5. Leaving us with egg 6, the chick was definitely alive in there, when you held the egg to your ear you could hear tapping. Come Thursday morning it had finally made a crack in the shell. By then however, Mummy Chicken had decided enough was enough and had taken the hatched chicks off in search of food. Luckily we had broody chickens to spare so the egg went under a surrogate for a few more hours. By mid afternoon it was out, but surrogate decided she was none to keen on it, and original Mum wasn't in the mood to let it recover from hatching either. So one very cold chick ended up being tucked down my bra to warm up. Mum and I ended up cuddling it for the first few hours of life, until the chickens went to sleep that night and I could tuck it back underneath her.
Friday morning I left for Wonderwool, not felling very hopeful for poor chick 6, however it's stilll with us. Definitely a little worse for wear after it's traumatic entrance to the world, but it's eating. It's feet are unfortunately curled up, it can apparently happen when the chick is trapped in the egg for too long, it wobbles about the place, but can run around with it's brothers and sisters. Some people try to splint them, but the legs and feet of bantam chicks are tiny, and in our set up any splint would probably fall off very quickly.
They're now out and about in the cage underneath their house. Mummy chicken is finding them lots of lovely things to eat. Gwen is back to being besotted with the babies.
She spends hours staring at them, and any hint of walking up to see the chicks is accompanied by a big black dog!
Chick 6 now looks like this. In total there are 3 who I think are Polish/Pekin crosses, 2 are black, and 1 is a yellowy-grey. The other 3 are pure Pekin, 2 are black and yellow, and one is brown and yellow. It will be very interesting to see what colour adult feathers they all develop.
I had a great time at Wonderwool, and will have lots of work to do before Woolfest in 2 months time. Many thanks to those of you who came by the stall. There will start to be new things in the shpo in the next couple of weeks. I'm taking a few days off from dyeing, partly to do some admin, but also beacuse I need a bit of a break. I hope you'll think it will be worth the wait!