Monday, May 7, 2012

there's a crack

as i said yesterday, we had a weekend of life and death.

we have had a couple of broody hens lying on what turned out to be more than a handful of eggs. i admit we're not so pro when it comes to taking care of broody hens, but we tried it once before and nature just handled it top notch. no interference needed from our end.

this time the first chick was dead when we found out it had hatched. the head was all bloody and we assumed it was a birth defect of some sort. there was another one under one of the two broody hens, alive and well, so no worries.

a couple of ours later it had died too. the head again bloody and we realized that one of the broody hens - or one of the others that also have been using the nest - had killed them both. apparently that happens. we felt really bad for not having saved it. it was so sad.

we didn't know what to do, but decided to take the eggs we could get to and place them in a homemade incubator. this one up there is the third one we watched as it hatched. it was awesome to watch.

did you know you can hear the chicks pipping inside the eggs a day or two before they hatch. it's so so crazy to listen to, and then suddenly, there's the sound of the chicks gently poking at the egg shell from inside.

the story continues as the eggs that remained with the hens also hatched. i had hoped the hens would have gotten their mothering instincts in place by then, but one more died. so i scooped up three newly hatched chicks and placed them with their friends in the box where we now keep all eight of them.

they are super cute! yellow, brown, black and gray, and three more on their way. they are all doing fine. the yellow one up there is now 2 days old. it's full of fluffy, soft energy.


  1. How amazing. It must be so special to witness. Good luck with the little chicks.

  2. that's an amazing lesson of life for the kids.

    as always beautifully written.

  3. Sorry about the losses. The photos of this one is truly amazing. A great show n' tell for the boys at school. xo

  4. Wow, what a beautiful experience. One of my fondest (and also saddest) memories from my childhood is watching the chicks hatch from our incubator. Many were born with birth defects... My memory doesn't recall what we did wrong... but the ones who made it were so amazing to watch grow. Your boys must be thrilled.