Hi Just hatching my first chicks, total novice unless you count feeding my Nana's hens more years ago than I care to remember. Not having a great success rate, Mail order eggs I was told have a tougher start so expected to lose a number. My two survivors so far (still have 1 on the go pipped but with blood still showing on the inner membrane) both were wrong way around and pipped at the narrow end and made little progress. I left both for a number of hours as they were peeping away then started to assist having run out of things on the internet to read in preparation. Did both very slowly giving them opportunities to take over, both required me to do the heavy work but were able to kick free of the last remnants of the inner membrane. Poor wee mites perked up quickly and are now happily chirping away in the bathtub/ brooder. My poodlecross bijon attempted to join them in a fit of maternal longing and collapsed their roof, she is a very clucky girl who adopts soft toys that squeak and tends them assiduously, so I think there is a surrogate mum on standby when the chicks are ready to meet her. However my 4 cats will not be getting introduced anytime soon. Sorry so fixated on my chicks I forgot to introduce myself - I live in New Zealand (hence my Kiwi tag), I am a primary school teacher but have recently given up fulltime classroom work and now do home based tutoring for dyslexic children. So I have time to be a "mother hen" which is a fantastic change of pace in my life. My students will love seeing the chicks when the term starts again soon. My husband views the whole poultry thing with some reserve but just keeps repeating " its a hobby, hobbies are good" and he rather enjoyed putting the cute henhouse together, so there is hope that he will become a convert. My 3 girls (all adults and away flatting) have enthusiastically backed the project, one is keen to relocate a chick or two to her work place that provides respite care for severely disabled children. So I foresee another hatching in the near future once I have these three settled. Still not sure how I am going to handle any roosters, horrible feeling I will be emotionally attached, perhaps the neighbours will accept earplugs as a solution. Well hopefully that gives you some idea of who I am. My sincere thanks to everyone that has contributed to this knowledge base, it has been my bible over the last few nights and without the information here my two wee babes would probably have died as I would have never have had the courage to intervene without the rational discussions and info pages that helped me out.