Monday, October 19, 2009

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheeps!

OK, get ready for the cutest fluffballs you've ever seen!

lunchtime in the brooder box

Finally yesterday (on day 22- 1 day late!) we hatched 7 out of our 8 chicky eggs. It was so exciting! The first one was out by the time we got up (at 6am :-o ) lying in the incubator ... I was worried for a second but when I shone a torch in it jumped up so quick and ran around chirping madly .... and then hardly stopped for the next 12 hours !!

pair of fluffballs

The next 6 we all had the amazing privilege of watching them hatch - it was really fantastic. After waiting all day Saturday with nothing happening (very frustrating!) at last we had our little chicks.
The 8th egg is still in the incubator, however its unlikely to hatch now, it was the only one that didn't 'pip' (start knocking a hole in the shell) and no chirpy noises from inside. I'll leave it until tomorrow.

After fluffing up and drying out, we moved them to their new residence- the Brooder Box. Ours is a very low-tech cardboard box, although it is prettied up with coloured paper around the outside. Newspaper and 50mm wood shavings in the bottom, then some non-slip matting on the top, (for the first couple of days while they find their feet, avoids leg problems later).

Heating is provided by a heat lamp very kindly loaned to me by the wonderful Jacqui from Life in the Dome blog, who lives nearby and helped me out immensely with some chicky things (I think I may have found a kindred chicky spirit LOL!) While I am giving out honourable mentions (!) Big thanks and a virtual bouquet to Chris from Bushlandproject blog for giving me lots of info and tips and whose emails calmed me down! You are wonderful women! I also got heaps of help and info from Backyard poultry - how amazing technology is that we can share so much information at the press of a few buttons!

Now, here is the ID parade! I don't know at this stage whether they are male or female, though I have my suspicions so I will share them here and you can come back later and see how right or wrong I am!!

So here is the line-up.... they are all Wyandottes, a mix of gold, silvers, blue-golds and blue silvers!

First to hatch- The Boss. Not sure if its a rooster (I suspect so!) or a future mother-hen but this is one lively chicky. After hatching ran around constantly helping the others out of their shells, pecking anyone who dared lie down for a rest (although this is apparently good to keep them moving after hatching) and once in the brooder box -even taking food to the other chicks who hadn't found it yet. Amazing behaviour!

Second out is this blue/grey beauty (I'm suspecting roo as well!) The fluffiest thing on legs. Actually its legs were a little weak for a while, but it is good now. Helped by The Boss to get to its feet.

Boss look-alike. Strange how similar they look as one came out of a Silver-Laced egg, the other out of Blue-Laced-Gold egg! It decided to sit nicely for its photo :)

This little one has the most stunning stripes and dots on her head - so pretty she just has to be a girl !!
This is my one Gold Laced Wyandotte, the photo doesn't show it but she is gorgeously reddish brown with stripes through her back. Another girl I think - look at that beautiful face!

This cutie having a bad hair day has a racing stripe down its back (boy racer with hair gel?)

And lastly, little Blondie - she is so cute! Very light with almost yellow underneath and wings.

We are all so in love with them, I'd love to keep them all! (not likely unless there is only 1 rooster) It has been an amazing project to incubate them and fantastic for the kids to watch.

So cuddly :)


Toria said...

Awww, they are absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations on a successful hatch - 7 chicks on your fist go is fantastic.

Xena said...

Woohoo! Very cute indeed.

greenfumb said...

I am soooo envious, they look gorgeous. I really must get rid of those Isa's so I can have a go.

Fingers crossed that they are all girls. x Deb

mountainwildlife said...

Thanks, it really is addictive! I can see why people don't stop at doing this once LOL!

Greenfumb I really recommend it, and I was really happy with Mick's eggs :)

Leanne said...

So so pretty! and fluffy to boot....yay congratulations! How exciting.

Chris said...

Thanks for the mention *blushes* but you guys did all the hard work. :)

And they really are a beautiful brood. You should feel really proud at what's been achieved. The long, hard wait is over!

I agree that the first one is likely to be a boy too. I found the boys had a longer, wider beak at the top. Girls have narrower and shorter beaks at the top.

At 6 to 8 weeks, the sexes becomes more obvious. In the meantime, have plenty more fun hugging the little fluff balls. They are so adorable.

top bananas said...

Hey fantastic looking chicks. Can't wait for the next photos as they grow!

dixiebelle said...

How did I miss seeing this post?? They are so cute.. well done!