Sunday, June 06, 2010

....All beginings are difficult

Anybody who has sat and stared at a blank piece of paper, canvas or screen will know just how hard it is to get started - to make that first mark, jot down the first words. Becoming a mother is hard work too. Been there, done that - and yes, it was. I've had the experience of being born too but along with most others have absolutely no memory of the experience. Perhaps it's just as well. I've never thought before about the process of becoming alive being hard work - until today that is when I watched eggs become birds.

My desktop chickens have just hatched. This is my second attempt and I am reasonably pleased. I set 20 eggs and discarded 4 as infertile on day 6. Over the past 24 hours 11 of the remaining 16 have hatched. That's 8 Rhode Island Reds and 3 Marans. I've watched and held my breath; urged them on every inch of the way from the first 'pip' to the eventual wetstickyexhausting emergence.

An enormous amount of effort is required just to chip a small hole....
....which gets larger and larger, until it extends some way round the shell.

Eventually with a tremendous push and a shove the chick frees itself from the shell. A wonderful thing but not yet a pretty sight. (Too many bodily fluids methinks.)
It's an exhausting process which seems to have taken  hours. Time for a rest.

The first 8 chickens are now under heat in the garage - cute and fluffy at last. Their 3 'siblings' will join them tomorrow.
Proud mother? Moi? At the risk of being a chicken bore I may well post more tomorrow.

13 comments:

Pondside said...

Congratulations Moutainear! I've followed your incubation efforts with interest and have been after TGD to buy such a desk top nursery. We take delivery of two-day old chicks later this month, but I'd much rather be doing what you've done. I hope you'll post more - a bore? Absolutely not!

Frances said...

Wow, wow, wow. No chance whatsover that this could be boring.

It is fascinating.

Thank you so very much for all these close up views.

Will you be trying this incubation technique again? City person has no idea if certain times of the year are more favorable to launch such hatchings.

Please do try it again! xo

her at home said...

Congratulations! I think I need one of those brooders, mine coms in the form of a large well fluffed up hen who if nto watcvhde steals eveyone elses eggs whilst sitting on her pile. I thought the hot weather had put them off laying until I managed to gt a look at madame flufffypants hoard when she niped out for a quic drink adn a peck!

Wipso said...

Congratulations to the proud Mum :-)
They are absolutly adorable. I love new life so if you don't keep us up to date there just might be one leg shorter than the other next time I sew for you :-)
Enjoy those new babies.
A x

bayou said...

How wonderful! How absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much to share as it was so disappointing that the first try was no success. Beautiful chickens! Now they have no hen mum? How does it continue? I have ordered my very first chickens (it's YOUR fault, you know) and found the electric fence and they will be arriving mid July. I searched for rare breeds, locally once very famous and now nearly extinct. Happy Mother's Day!

Angie said...

What wonderful photos ...love reading your blog ...Congrats on being a 'mummy' to this beautiful brood....I look forward to the next instalment.

Exam Crisis said...

They are so cute. We will have to come and see them when we get back from Skiathos. Hopefully they will have stayed cute still x

Chris Stovell said...

Amazing! I feel nearly as proud just looking at the photos! Congratulations!

elizabethm said...

So different from having a broody. My experience this year is exactly captured by her at home. When we lost our mother it was more like yours in that I felt so engaged with how they were doing. This time the mother is doing such a grand job I just turn up, throw food, replenish water, coo a bit and leave her to it!

rachel said...

Please please be a chicken bore. I could think of nothing nicer, after cat boring, of course......

Anonymous said...

dont let chester in the garage then i guess

Kirsty.a said...

Amy, at Over At Our Place, has blogged a post about our online friendships. I was only thinking something similar the other day. I do believe that 'Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or forever' (as somebody said) and that it is OK to have groups of friends who never meet. My definition of a friend is someone you can share worries and triumphs with, someone who will happy for your success and sad for your trials. I guess that definitely makes us friends and I'm proud to say that. I'm going to go and post a copy of this on all the blogs I follow. Thanks for being a friend.

Twiglet said...

Isn't nature wondeful - happy motherhood - lol