Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pulling the plug

We are very sad tonight. We finally pulled the plug on the incubator.

I kept hoping there was a chance of a maybe one more hatching, even though when we had candled, knew we only saw one.

I finally started looking at several resources, then got in touch with my local chicken professional, and she gave me instructions on how to check for any life signs in the eggs, after she asked if any had pipped.

I hated to ask what pip was so I googled it quickly, but after reading the first description of pipping, I knew that none of the rest had.

I went to the next step of using a clean sharp nail and poking a small hole into the large end of the egg. I even followed her instruction of chirping into the egg to see if anyone answered. There was nothing. I made the hole larger and saw that there was no sign of life at all and there had never been anything but an egg inside that shell. I grabbed the flashlight and looked at each one, then sadly announced to the girls that I did not think we had any more that would hatch.

Annabel wanted to help with the process of double checking and soon Grace joined in too. We took turns poking the initial hole, chirping into the egg, then carefully breaking back enough shell to see what quickly became the norm, an intact egg, with no signs of developing into anything else. With the last one, I went in and unplugged the incubator. It all seemed very dramatic!

It was really sad for Annabel because she had been so loyal about turning them, checking on the temperature, and the water. She bounces back quickly though and wants us to buy our own incubator and try again! She has caught chicken math too, evidently.

And a quick update on our 3 babies, this morning, there was not a peep from the cage, when I truly expected to be woken up quite early by their constant chirping. I lay there dreading to find 3 dead chickens in the cage. Thank goodness, they were just quiet for long enough to late me sleep until the alarm went off!

So here is a picture of Biscuit, the Cinnamon Queen that we hatched.

And here she is with her "sisters", Honey, which is a White Plymouth Rock, and Gravy, which is an Aracauna.

Let's hope everyone is still chirping tomorrow!

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