Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Operation flock restore part 2

Meet zip zipity!

Zip-Zipity is my first ever chick successfully hatched in an incubator.  Cute as a button isn't she?  I've never had so much interaction with a baby chick before.  Not sure how THAT will play...attachment to a chicken probably won't end well.  After all a chicken is a chicken right?

She (at least I hope she's a she) was the result of my attempt to "salvage" eggs from under three different broody hens. Let me explain....

So three of my chickens just up and decided one day that they were going to stay and sit on their eggs.  When chickens sit on their eggs like this...they do periodically get up and drink and eat and then go back to their nest to continue sitting.  Yet, when they are away from their nest, other chickens will come in and lay THEIR eggs on top of the eggs already there...and before you know it there's like 24 eggs in the sitter's nest.

The problem with this is... it takes 21 days to hatch a chicken egg (so long as it's been fertilized by a rooster of course...and kept at the right temperature...with the right humidity....and turned every-so-often, etc).  And now this nest of 24 eggs has a variation of "start" days (because of the other chickens sneakin in laying their eggs on the pile).  Therefore they won't all hatch at the same time.  Additionally, not all these eggs layed here are in fact fertilized.  So after a while...the unfertilized eggs will rot and explode.  Making a big mess on top of the other eggs.  Flies then come on the scene and lay their eggs.  Maggots arrive shortly thereafter...and now, NOW you have a really big stinky mess!

So after watching this process unfold multiple times over a week or two. And add in also that one of the hens did in fact hatch two chicks successfully...but abandoned the other eggs on her nest.  I decided to purchase an incubator and intervene. 

I started with the abandoned eggs.  Plus the eggs I removed from the other two hens with exploded rot and maggots on them. ugh.  So after cleaning those off and placing all in the incubator...I started with like 30 eggs.  Only 1 hatched so far.  (not very good odds I know...but most of the eggs turns out were rotted or the embryo didn't develop fully inside the egg).

I'm continually learning how this whole chicken raising thing works.  And my oh my what chickens have taught me...but that's a whole other post.

Meanwhile...zipity zip is growing up in a tupperware container in the garage patiently waiting for hopefully at least one other lil chick to hatch and join her.  I have 4 eggs left in the incubator and today is day 19.

You may be wondering why zipity zip isn't being raised by one of the successful momma hens? Well, ironically I did try to introduce zip to momma hen and after making a HUGE fuss and flapping and pecking and basically the equivalent of chicken yelling it was apparent to me that momma wanted NOTHING to do with little zip.  If I would have left zip in the pen with momma hen, no doubt momma would have killed zip.  No adoption here.  So zip is growing up solo for the moment.  Until she's big enough to defend herself from chicken haters.

And I don't normally name my chickens...but this one...this one's a little different situation.  She needed a name.  Welcome to our world zip-zipity-do!

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