At the beginning of this week I know you got a sneak peek to my new chicks, but now it’s time for a formal introduction. From pip to hatch, here is the process:
This is the first pip. I was so excited when I saw my first eggs piping! Then came the waiting game. Imagine laying in an egg doing nothing for 3 weeks, and now you have to work to get out of a cramped space and breath. That requires a lot of resting and pecking.
The next stage occurred a few hours later.
From here on out things went a little a faster.
This is the ‘unzipping’ stage. A chick will turn in the shell and peck a complete circle around the shell to pop out!
And it’s almost out!
It’s out! Yay! Time to dry out those down feathers. Once they are dry I will move it from the incubator to my brooder.
A few of my Svart Hona chicks had a hard time getting out of their shell because the egg was smaller than the average egg. This is one of the reasons why Svart Honas are rare.
Typically helping a chick hatch is a big no-no in the poultry world. In my case I was instructed on just how much to assist my chicks in hatching.
Here’s me working on one of my eggs with tweezers, a warm towel, and some warm water. I helped one of my chicks half out of the egg, one I just widened the pip hole a little, and another I just took away some of the shell around the air sac. All of my assisted hatches finished hatching by themselves and are healthy and happy.
The reason you don’t want to help a chick completely out of the shell is because it may not have finished absorbing the yolk which contains important blood vessels. If you helped them out you could break the blood vessels and cause the chick to bleed to death.
This one had piped completely on the opposite end of the air sac, so he had no air to breathe to begin with until he piped that first hole. I didn’t help him too much because I didn’t want to break any blood vessels.
Here is the egg shell after a chick hatches. You can see the waste left behind in the egg from when the chick’s kidneys were making waste before it had hatched.
Here they are, all one day old and happy and healthy!
This is JJ, a Silver Rock. It’s father was my Silver Leghorn rooster and it’s mother was one of my Partridge Rock hens. JJ was the first chick to hatch.
This is Ele Ele a Svart Hona. The name is a Hawaiian word for ‘black’. You can see the egg tooth still at the end of the beak. This helped the chick hatch and will soon fall off.
This is Kapa the Svart Hona. It’s name means ‘black’ in Kyrgyz. I will not know the gender of my little chicks until they are older, so right now they are ‘its’, although I have a tendency to call them he’s or she’s depending on the personality.
And this is Hitan the Svart Hona. It’s name means ‘black’ in Indonesian.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to memorize the names, I will happily remind you!
Have a great weekend!