The first egg hatched 2 days early, on the 16th. I heard the first chirps from the incubator in the morning, then quickly moved all of the eggs out of the egg turner tray. Within two hours the first chick was out.
By evening, three more had made their appearance.
The morning of the 17th, another pair.
These eggs weren't 'due' until the 18th. How did that happen? Well, I thought I might be having some trouble with my egg turner. Nothing hatched from the first two batches this year, and every time I looked at the incubator the eggs always seemed to be in the same position.
After the new hens arrived, I cleaned out the incubator, scrubbed everything down well, and put the egg turner back in place. I left the egg turner plugged in while I was collecting eggs for this hatch, and conveniently stored the eggs in it. It seems the warm spring weather combined with the motion was enough to give these chicks a head start.
All but one of the early chicks was very light yellow. Fingers crossed for more chanteclers! The odds should be pretty good, since all of the other hens should produce coloured chicks, except the meat hens mated with the meat roosters might hatch out light coloured rooster chicks.
|One of the chantecler chickens|
When the 7th chick hatched on the morning of the 17th, I moved the four driest fluff balls into a box right beside the incubator.
They won't be there for long, but I want to keep them close so the ones still in the incubator, and especially the ones still in the eggs, can hear their siblings chirping away. This helps the unhatched to know that mama hasn't taken the clutch and abandoned them.
By bedtime, we were up to 11 chicks, so I moved two more into the box.
One hatched overnight, and the last one hatched the afternoon of the 18th. Sadly, we lost one little one last evening.