My first chics hatched today!!! Woo Hoo!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TDC123, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. TDC123

    TDC123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nearly a year ago I decided to convert an old tin building on the property into a chicken coop and to take a retired and disassembled Argentine blue tegu (large carnivorous South American Lizard) cage and convert it into a chicken run. You can see this marvel of engineering and craftsmanship below...

    [​IMG]

    Yeah, it's ugly but works quite well. Information both plentiful and contradictory abounds on the internet regarding a proper coop so I relied upon some locals experienced with chickens. I took their some of their advice and some I read here deciding to be focused on keeping it dry versus airtight and well insulated. So far this approach has worked and my remaining two adult birds have made it through winter just fine even though temps in KY have been in the teens several times this year.

    I mentioned my flock dwindling down to two from a group of 12. Earlier in the year I acquired a German Shepherd pup to raise alongside the flock so she could be a guardian of them. Instead she chose to slaughter them despite my trying every tactic I could find to stop her. She now resides elsewhere. From my initial mixed group of barred rocks, Orpingtons, BR/Orpginton hybrids and some kind of white chicken I was left with this one pair at the beginning of winter.

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    I had no reason to expect much success and entered winter just hoping to keep these last two alive after my dismall success keeping the birds alive. I filled their coop with straw and tossed a couple five gallon buckets in laid on the ground and stuffed some straw in the buckets. A few months ago, what do you know, the unchecked bucket was full of eggs. I have bred reptiles for several years so I tossed together an incubator using an igloo cooler and made multiple mistakes with that first effort at hatching eggs including but not limited to having them way to humid and adding more eggs to the group as they were laid. Husbandry of chicken eggs is quite different from snake egg husbandry. Early on I realized the error of my ways by reading the articles here on BYC and I started storing all laid eggs in the refrigerator while waiting to see if this first effort hatched. 21 days came and went. All I produced was a strong rotten egg odor!

    So, off to Tractor Supply for a Little Giant and I start again with another 12 eggs. I did not turn them three times a day, twice at best and some days I completely forgot. Despite creating an alert in my Windows Calendar the program did not alert me 3 days ago that it was time for lockdown and I have been turning the eggs for the last few days. Then last night I peaked in the incubator and one of my eggs was cracked! Expletives ensued. Then I noticed another was cracked, more expletives. I finally realized the chics were pipping!!! My son and I frantically began digging up the heat lamps, the bedding and prepping the empty 75 gallon aquarium that used to be a chuckwalla (herbivorous lizard from the desert Southwest of the US and Mexico) habitat for baby chics. We had it all handy and disinfected but I had that alert in my calendar so I could have everything ready this time.

    Overnight two pipped and zipped. During this morning 3 more did. The other 7 eggs have shown no activity at all yet but I have 15 waiting to go into the incubator in my refrigerator. The chics have been a whole lot of fun and are using their feeders and waterers already. Here are my fuzzballs.

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    These two more golden ones were the last two to come out

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    Sorry I got so long winded but it has taken a lot of work to finally get these five chics and I have learned a lot. This website has been an excellent resource. The little chics are quite funny. Hopefully by this time next year I'm putting some meat in the freezer.

    TC
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  2. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    It is exciting for me to see your pix. I can't imagine how excited you
    must be to be growing your flock from your own pair. Best of luck
    to you. Happy Days are ahead.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. TDC123

    TDC123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2013
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    It has been really fun. The little chics are clowns.
     
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad to have you aboard. Congrats and good luck. :thumbsup
     
  5. TDC123

    TDC123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2013
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    Hello chicken mom. I won't hold your buckeye status against you!

    These little chics are a lot of fun. I've hatched a few species of lizards and I can't even count the clutches of various colubrid snakes. Last year some of my boa constrictors (I have nearly 60) gave birth to my first litter of boas. I think I've been more excited about these little chickens than anything since my first clutch of bearded dragon eggs over ten years ago.

    The are hopping around this morning and all their hair is all fluffed and not matted. It's so funny, at the slightest noise they all hop up and run around to the feed and water stations. They push and shove and peck each other. Then they all go lay down under the lamp and go back to sleep. Next time they hear something, they all get busy hopping around again.
     
  6. TDC123

    TDC123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 31, 2013
    Kentucky
    Thanks. It was gratifying, mostly because we made so many mistakes and lost so many of our original flock. My favorites were lost as a matter of fact. I just loved those barred rock birds. I don't know why, something about how they look. I may find a couple of those this spring to add to the mix.

    The question now is that with the dog gone, will the coyotes, opossums, raccoons and feral cats start attacking the flock. I'm on the hunt for and adult dog someone has taught to leave the flock alone. I do not have the gift for teaching that. Plus that GS had a very high prey drive.

    TC
     
  7. SamanthaBrooke

    SamanthaBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats, they are so cute!
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Wow, what a ride! So sorry to hear about your losses, first of all. And congrats on the fluffy butts! [​IMG]

    Tip for future hatches: store the hatching eggs at room temperature and turn them 2-3 times a day and if you haven't already, read Sally Sunshine's brilliant article on incubating and hatching eggs:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Well, I have to admit you are one tenacious chicken owner! Congratulations!
     
  10. cool! u must be sooooo exited my chicks hatched like 3 or 4 days ago it is so fun having little baby chicks! Good Luck with the baby chicks!
     

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