After wanting to get a small flock of chickens for years I finally made the plung, much to my husband's dismay. While going to "only look" at the chicks at TSC during Chick Days I decided that I better get six chicks from the pullet bin before they were all gone. So, on that sunny day in April six little yellow pullets rode in the front seat of our car in a cardboard box peeping the entire way home and two very excited kids strapped in their carseats in the back.
As the peeps started growing one stood out as being a little different. This one had a little black beak and had orange legs instead of the yellow legs the other chicks had. My son dubbed this chick "Johnnie Tutu." My daughter named another chick after our neighbor's dog, Pumpkin. We named one chick "Tiny" because it was slightly smaller than the others. After two days it took a growing spurt and we renamed it Big Tiny, who is still the largest of the six. The other three chicks were given Charlotte, Charlie, and Lulu as names.
Soon after the chicks were moved to their coop I decided to purcase an incubator and try my hand at hatching eggs. Ordering chicks online seemed to be too expensive and I could not justify the cost. So, I started looking on ebay for a good deal on some hatching eggs. I decided to try to find some fairly close so they would not have a long trip through the USPS. I ordered 12 mixed eggs from Georgia. In the description the seller noted that breeds included, "black cochin, blue cochin, mottled cochen, RIR, maran, black australorp, frizzles, silkies, red star, and aracaunas," so our chicks were going to end up being mixes of these breeds, or possibly pure, as the seller did have roosters that were the same breed as the hens. The eggs all arrived in perfect condition within four days. After letting them settle down from their trip to NC I placed them in the incubator on Mother's Day 2012. I decided to go with the dry incubation method as it seemed to have excellent results.
I am still not sure what breed our chicks are. Some have suggested white leghorn while others say White Rock.
I'm still waiting on a definite answer.
Johnnie Tutu the Tetra Tint
Although it is not recommended, I couldn't help but candle the eggs everyday. So every evening I would check the eggs with a flash light in a dark room. One egg wasn't fertile, so that left 11 eggs. We lost two embryos at around day seven. I think I enjoyed this more than my kids, even though they did get to see the embryo move sometimes.
The remaining nine eggs developed nicely and on day 19, two days early, one chick pipped. The next morning another one pipped, and then another and another and another.
The first to hatch. Moe was named by my 6-year-old little boy.
Moe needed some assitance with getting out of the shell, but managed to do it after a little help.
I'm pretty sure this chick is named after potato chips, as my son loves his chips!
Even at one day old his feathers are starting to appear on the wings.
She was named by my 4-year-old little girl. She has very puffy cheeks!
He peeps a LOT!
I was never able to candle Nugget's egg well. It was very thick and I wasn't even sure it was developing.
Nugget has five toes and is the sweetest of the seven chicks.
Belle was the second chick to pip, but made minimal progress. After 24 hours without any change, I helped Belle out of the shell. She was huge and I believe was too large to move around well enough to work her way out.
Nugget - 6 days old
Moe - 6 days old
On April 8th we added three one-week-old silkies to our little flock.
Jewel (black), Lucy (blue), and Angry Bird (blue partridge).
At almost two weeks of age I decided to introduce the incubator chicks and the silkies in an environment that neither had been in before. It worked out well. They are now properly socialized with each other, even if the photo below does seem to have an imaginary line drawn between the two groups. They are all getting along very well.
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