Saturday, March 2, 2013

Our flock increases

February 3 - Saw a notice for a chicken place for a bargain - a dozen Cinnamon Queen hatching eggs for only $20.

Now, I will admit two important parts of this story - I had no idea what "hatching eggs" were, but hoped it meant the eggs would be hatching pretty soon and that I love a bargain, the thought of 12 chickens for only $20 made me gleeful!

So all you had to do was reply sold, along with your email address and they were yours, of course, after they received payment. I'm not sure what made me do some really quick googling, but I soon found out I would need an incubator, and at this point, you could not tell if they would be chickens or roosters. Still at that point, I was thinking you just used a little item, that probably looked like a quesadilla maker, pop the eggs in and within a short time - Voila! 12 baby chickens!

If you were around when we bought our first chickens, or within the month, you might have noticed that I promised I would NEVER have baby chickens again, or if I did, they would be in the summer, when you did not have to have them in the house, cleaning out a stinky cage, regularly.

So I'm not sure what happened or why, but common sense was thrown out the window and I went through with buying the eggs, sure I would find the quesadilla maker/incubator.

At the exact same time that this was happening, we were trying to convert to broadband from DSL and every single night, hours were spent trying to deal with AT&T, either on the phone or in person, with a tech trying to solve the mystery of why it would not work, so I was trying to do research about hatching eggs on my phone, and desperately seeking the quesadilla/incubator.

The eggs arrived on Wednesday. I finally tracked down an incubator on Thursday, and Friday, we got it all set up. The broadband, still not working, continued to force me to do research on my phone, but I found the details on temperature and humidity, that they needed to be turned about 3 times a day, and 21 days later, we should have babies.

Yesterday was 21 days. Last night we could hear an incessant chirping, coming from the incubator, which turned out to look like a very large foam cooler, with wires, and plugs coming out. This morning, very early, it was quite obvious that the chirping was no longer coming from inside an egg, but outside. It felt somewhat like Christmas, running in, and stealing the first look! Annabel soon was doing the same thing.

There, among 11 intact eggs, was a very tiny chicken jumping all around and chirping quite loudly.

I left out an important step.

Along the way we "candled" the eggs, powering Dad's tiny little, but powerful Mag light, to view inside each of the eggs, to see the progress of the development of the chickens. We weren't sure what we were doing but knew that one seemed different from the others. I reported to a group of friends who have done this before. They were surprised that I thought only one seemed to fit the pictures of a chicken growing, but I kept hoping that we were wrong.

Another important thing was that Annabel assumed total responsibility for the egg turning, the temperature, and the humidity. Each day, she was up early making sure everything was just right. Today she was up early wanting to open the incubator and get the baby out, but she also stood over the incubator singing songs of encouragement to the rest of the eggs, trying to will them to get the strength to break through their shell.

I knew the chance of any more eggs hatching was slim so when we went to get food for the baby, I knew we would need to get at least one more baby as chickens have to have other chickens to survive. as they are flock animals/birds. I didn't mention this to Annabel, as she was sure that the rest would hatch, but about halfway there, it dawned on her that we might want to consider the worst case scenario in case the others don't hatch, so what would we do.

Thankfully I knew this feed store usually always had baby chicks and today was no exception, so along with a 25 pound bag of beginner feed, we also came away with 2 more baby chicks.

So here's the math - buy 12 eggs for $20, one eggs hatches, so go buy more chickens!

A friend calls this chicken math! Tonight I am calling it craziness!


  1. Well, I'm sorry the rest didn't hatch but I am real happy for the one that did that you bought two more. What are the breeds of the other two? Love the quesadilla maker analogy - perfect!

    1. Thanks, Carrie. The other two are Aracauna and White Plymouth Rock, should be like the one we got from you.