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Author Topic: Ah, the last of the hatching, January 31, 2010  (Read 2732 times)
Cindi
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« on: February 05, 2010, 10:51:04 AM »

Phew, been a very busy week.  Mostly chicken stuff, moving chicks from here to there, there to here.  The older chicks are in their respective new homes (from the cabin to our old chickenhouse, with a massive yard and the pullets to the chicken tractor, that group in the chicken tractor moved with the cockerals that were old enough to head out to the old chickenhouse, I'll have pics of that massive migration one day, oops, a little off topic).

I think that the hatch went well.  50 of 73 hatched, that would be 68%, five percentiles higher than the last hatch.  I truly don't believe for a minute that using eprinex for lice and internal parasite control, nor gathering eggs for 16 days made a hoot and a hollar of a difference between a good or a bad hatch.  Sixty-eight percent is a very reasonable hatch, in my mind. 

Also, I had saved four very crinkly eggs from that blue Cochin that just didn't want to lay them right.  She has now corrected this behaviour and is sitting on 12 eggs due on Monday or Tuesday (as is the other blue Cochin, she went broody same time her friend did, seems they do alot of hanging out together and it was important to both be broody at the same time, smiling).  Poor Hercules, the massive blue Cochin rooster, monster dude!!!  -- he has been hanging out for close to three weeks now, just waiting and waiting for his gals.  It is kind of sad to see him perching at night on his roost, all by himself, poor dude, but he is a beautiful and patient fellow, such a lovely gentleman, oops, ramblin' off topic again, I have a bad habit of doing that thing, smiling.  I have a picture of him sitting on the entrance to Aphrodites nest box (that was when both blues decided to go broody, with no eggs beneath them and both were in the same box).  I gave Venus a box of her own, moved her in there and she didn't move an inch, that was her new brood box and she knew it.  Man are these birds to easy to work with, they are as pliable as silly putty and just go with the flow, sweetest birds that I have ever known.  And when you pick up one of these big balls of fluff, you know you got a nice bird in your arms, like a massive, warm feather duster. 

Of those four very crinkly eggs, all hatched out just fine.  So in my mind, I am becoming a mythbuster.  Deformed, crinkly eggs hatch.  Well, at least mine did, with no bad effects.  Maybe come that are really badly deformed don't, but you will see by the picture what the eggs looked like, really, really crinkled.

Got some very beautiful little chicks.

Another thing that I am now testing out.  The prior two hatches, for four days many of the chicks had pasty butt.  My job each morning was to take each baby out of their pen, face their heads downward so their little fuzzy butts would stick up in the air.  This seems to cause them to push their little butts up in the air higher and I can have a good look at their vent.  I would remove any little piece of pasty butt poo very gently.  A couple of times warm water and a puff ball was required to remove this.  I could clearly see with some, that if this pasty butt poo was not removed, that their little teeny tiny vents would be plugged up, and they would not be able to poo and of course, would die.  So that would be my morning routine. I have found that pasty butt poopy rear ends only seem to last about 4 days, then it is gone.  I think it may have something to do with the egg yolk that has been aborbed during birth into their bodies.  I have read that cooler temperatures can cause this pasty butt poo.  The first two hatches were in our basement kitchen, which was a fairly warm room, but no actual heat, so may have been a bit cool.  This last hatch was in the cabin, the mean temperature in there has been kept at 18C, approximately, using the thermostat that governs the electric baseboards.  That air was warm, like a nice summer day.  In the first two hatches, I left the babies in their incubator home for two days, onto the third day, then moved to the brooding box.

With this last incubation in the cabin, which was a warmer air temperature than the basement, I did not notice any pasty butt at all, only maybe one or two chicks, with minor the first day.  The warmer air temperature may have been better for them with this malade.

But on the other hand, the babies were moved into their brooding box on the day after they were born, of course, they began to eat and drink immediately.  I am wondering if the earlier access to food prevented pasty butt, by moving through that egg yolk poop faster than the prior hatches.

Or was it the warmer air temperature?  I don't know if I will ever now this.  Hold it, yes, maybe I will.  I have those two blue Cochins that are brooding their babies in their chicken house.  That air temperature will be actually cold.  Maybe I have to check those Cochin babies' butts every day.  The Cochins are so relaxed, they would not mind a hoot.

Oh brother, I am ramblin'.....gotta do that thing, and you must know by know, I am that ramblin' gal, smiling that big smile.

I absolutely love to use that non-slip material for the first week of life, to ensure that they get a good grip, with no slipping and they can find their food easily, but, phew, what a mess.  Every day when I take the chicks out to check for pasty butt, I take out their bedding and give them new, clean non-slip material.  It is a whole lotta work, but keeps the scent of manure absent.  Tomorrow I will put a thin layer of pine shavings on top of the non-slip material, that will absorb a lot of the manure and urates (spelling) and their little feet won't get poop balls on them (yes, as I check their little butts for pasty butt stuff, I also remove any little balls of poop that adhere to their toenails and feet, a good job do do first thing in the morning, gotta love chicky poopy things, kidding....)

Anyways, here goes, just a couple of pics to show that has been going on, in that mysterious and lovely world of the baby chicks.

And...do have that most wonderful and awesome day, with wonderful wishes of great health, Cindi.

That crinkly egg, four of them to be exact



I find that the red heat lamp distorts the look of things, but that must be there, they love to bask in the tropical paradise below the light, so I turned it off briefly to take a couple of pictures



Amazing how as soon as they are set free into their new home, they begin to drink and eat, Mother Nature is indeed a marvelous thing



Simply amazing!!!



Now this is something that I wonder about.  This chick still had what seemed the thingy that is attached to the egg yolk, guess it may be called the umbilical chord, this one still had it attached, it looked like a big, thick, long poop, but was gone the following day.  Why?  Why did this chick still have this thick chord?  The others I have seen something like this once in a while, but as thin as a piece of thread, that has got my curiosity peaked too.  Anyone know?  It is fine, the chicks are now 5 days old, it is still healthy, and beeboppin' around.  See, if you hold their heads downward, they lift up their fuzzy little butts, cute as the dickens, if you like to look at chickie butts, smiling.  Oh yes, I am basic, a very down-to-earth gal, that does those down-to-earth things, that to many may seem very disgusting and gross, but that is life on my little farm, earth, wind and fire.....



That chick


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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
kingbee
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 07:08:15 PM »

Yo, Cindi, That thing hanging off the chick’s belly is its navel. Its called the yoke sack.  The yoke sack contains the as yet un-used or absorbed portion of the egg yoke and it is the chick’s food reserves for the first couple of days of life.
 
It is not necessary to feed newly hatched chicks the first few days, in fact it is better if they use up all the yoke sack contents first and naturally absorb the sack into their body.  So if they pip on the 21st day like a worker bee let them stay in the nest with the old biddy at least 24 hours, a day and a half is even better.  Just keep the nest in a safe, cool, dry, dark, location away from other chickens so the old biddy stays quite and still she'll keep them warm.  If you use an incubator keep them in the hatching tray just like you did, but remember to keep the humidity up when they start piping.  The first day they are out, say the 23rd, don’t feed except maybe for a little old fashioned (un-pasteurized) buttermilk.  Do however give them some chick size granite grit free choice.  They aren’t born with teeth like us. Their pecking reflex will takeover from there, but you know that. 

The following (24th) day feed a HARD boiled egg well mashed and crumbled up, shell and all, say one egg for ever one or two dozen chicks.  Also feed dry crumbled old fashion oatmeal, and a little starter grower.  After the first week you can discontinue the egg and oat meal if you want but continue with the skim buttermilk and starter grower.  If you don’t have a source of real buttermilk add a little active yogurt culture to cultured skimmed buttermilk or regular skim milk.  It is ok at about a week to ten days to add a little scratch grain, and whole oats.  If you like, now is also the time to add a little sugar and antibiotics to their drinking water and stop the buttermilk. But if you have a ready source of whey or waste milk by all means let them have all they want.  A superior ration for backyard poultry can be made by mixing 3 parts 36% protein hog chow, 3 parts laying pellets, and 3 parts cracked corn or scratch grain, and 1 part rabbet food pellets.  Add to this one part of a mixture containing equal amounts of sweet horse feed, a good dog or cat food in pellet form, and Calf Manna.  Keep a small amount of oyster shell and granite grit before them at all times.  Feed this grit free choice but where it will stay clean and dry.

One problem with chicks is they drown or get chilled wading in their water fountain.  Clean gravels or marbles in the chick fount (the one they drink from, not the one their parents baptize them in) helps for the first week or two.  I have found, and many Zoos that specialize in hatching exotic tropical birds dye their baby birds water GREEN at first.  It has nothing to do with ecology but likely resembles the color of the water most tropical ground nesting birds drink in the wild on a routine basis.  BTW, a chicken is a tropical ground nesting bird.  This seems to cut down on the number of chilled and drowned pips.

I hope you do not lose many of your chicks because I see that they are all piled up in the one photo where you removed the heat lamp.  This is inductive of chilling and chilling leads to suffocation.  I'll get back to you on the pasty bottom thing, Good luck.
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Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 10:08:51 AM »

KingBee, thank you very much for the wealth of information that you have provided to me.  I am listening, I love to listen.  I pretty much know that this hangy down thing with the chick is the yolk sac, but it surprised me, as I have not seen it in the hundreds of chicks that I have had experience with hatching and growing prior to this experience.  It has now gone, it was just an oddity to me.

I think that your advice about what to feed the chicks will be implemented into my feeding with further hatches.  Right now, I don't believe I will be hatching any more chicks for awhile (but I am so addicted, don't know if I can stop myself, and I don't say that lightly).  I find not much more pleasant in life than to nurture chicks and chickens and bees (well, family too, of course).  During the first few days of life, I always have a very special group of little marbles that grace their drinking water, it attracts them and they have fun trying to peck at them, it also saves, as you speak of, little ones falling into the water and drowning.  I did have a white crested black Polish chick drown in the baby water dish one time, they were not overly smart chicks, cute, but was not my style of what breed of bird I wish to keep.

About the piling up in the corner.  Normally they have that beautiful red light to keep them warm 24-7.  I had turned it off so I could take a picture without that red distortion that the heat lamp makes.  These chicks rarely huddle in a corner, mostly laying out all over the brood pen, fairly close to the light, but not cold at all.  The room is kept at 16 degrees C and it is like  warm summer day in that little cabin.  They don't get chilled.  If I feel any sort of coolness in their with only a t-shirt on, I know I must raise the temperature, but have not had the requirement to do so.  What I should do in these rectangular brooding boxes would be to place a layer of chick guard around the inside, so the corners are not square, but rounded, this also would prevent any huddling and suffocation in those corners, but have been just a little on the lazy side I guess.  I had just cleaned their bedding, so they were a little traumatized, hence the huddle.

Chicks are doing great, they are now 7 days old, healthy cute little dudes.  I took some neat pictures yesterday of the chickies.  I separated the light brahmas from the myriad colours of cochins, I will have those pictures to soon show.  So cute.....I gave them pine shavings for bedding yesterday, on top of the non slip pads, sure does make for easy clean up.  Just take the end of the non slip pads, roll them up with the shavings on top and outside, shaken to the wind.  Whammo!!!  Ready to put the babies back in with no baby dust in their home.  Chicks sure do create alot of baby dust.  That always marvels me.  Have those beautiful days, filled with the best of love and health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 07:27:54 AM »

Cute stories, as usual!! Always love the photos.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2010, 10:43:48 AM »

Mostly chicken stuff, moving chicks from here to there, there to here

I call it chicken checkers. Every year I am chomping at the bit to get the incubator fired up and go a little overboard. So then I start playing chicken checkers to shuffle them around.  My biggest problem is curiosity.  I was bad to open the door everyday to check on things not taking into consideration that all my humidity was going out the door. Makes for a lot of dried chicks stuck to shells on hatching day.  I was just talking about my incubator to a teacher here at school. I am bringing it to a classroom to do some hatching for the kids.
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Natalie
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 10:59:13 AM »

I call that the chicken shuffle. We do the same thing, move them around from one place to another as they grow until they go into the big girl coop.
I have two incubators going right now, one has turkey eggs that are due to hatch in about 5 days and the other is hatching as we speak. Had a few pipping last night and woke up this morning to two chicks already fluffed and dried and walking around. Now the rest are all in various stages of hatching.
I have pure black copper marans and some crosses in there now. 

Cindi, I get some wrinkly eggs like that once in a while but its usually towards the bottom of the egg.
I think its the same hen that lays it because its always one of the light brown eggs, although I have had one of my easter egger hens laying some huge green eggs with one flat side to them the last couple of weeks.
She is one of my oldest hens, she moulted last year and has always been a fantastic layer but we'll see what she does. I haven't been getting many from her lately and they have that weird shape but its also just getting to be spring so maybe she will get in gear and straighten things out.
I am going to go through my flock this year and thin it out some since I have alot of new layers.
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hardwood
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2010, 04:14:49 PM »

Send any cull on down to me! We just had some dogs come through this last weekend and kill every chicken we had save 1 lonely hen.
I spoke with all the neighbors about it and the consensus is wild or feral dogs. Definitely not coons, foxes, bobcats or any other chicken eater because they just killed them and let them lay there. We only had 4 bodies missing. Peggy's devastated (so am I).

Shot gun is next to the door and loaded.

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2010, 10:03:59 PM »

Oh Scott I am so sorry to hear about your chickens. That is truly awful!
I hope you can rebuild your flock and you get whatever attacked them, hopefully they never come back but at least you are prepared.
Tell Peggy I am very sorry as well. What a horrible experience.
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hardwood
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2010, 10:18:19 PM »

Thanks Natalie. I've already ordered a box (25) of auracanas so we'll have eggs again in 5 mos or so. I'll miss my big R.I. red (Rosie) the most though, she always hung out on the window sill of my computer nook and was my constant companion both in the garden and bee yard Cry

Scott
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"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2010, 07:36:02 PM »

Oh Scott, sigh, that is a terrible thing, I feel so badly for you and Peggy both, oh dear.  That is the most horrible gut wrenching thing when one sees this type of devastation.  I'm glad you have that mean machine by the door, you go and get 'em.  Keep that chin up, as difficult as it is to do.  Have still a most awesome day, with that great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 12:08:43 AM »

Scott,

If it's any help I build my chicken fence the same way I do my goat fence.  They say that if will hold water it'll hold a goat.  My fences are 5ft of welded 2X4 wire nailed to 3 2X4 rails between 4X4 posts, I'll be topping it off with an electric wire above the welded wire.  I also have covered my chicken pens with netting as I have a lot of eagles, hawks, and falcons around my place.  If I don't keep the trap to the pigeon pen covered when the birds aren't flying I end up with hawks in the pigeon loft.  Done that 3 times so far.  My fencing also has kept out coyotes and raccoons, two critters I lost nearly 1/2 my flock to the winter of 08. 
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2010, 11:17:36 PM »

Ah goats, can't actually stand them.  I have had dealings with goats.  Never going there again, smiling. Remember my post of drinking the goat milk mixed with kahlua, never mind.  It was rather ridiculous.  I love goats, if someone else has them. We had two Nubian gals --

I can still smell the billygoat, in my mind's eye, at your place, Brian.  That stench was smelled a mile away, mind you, it was only the females that smelled it. The men were totally immune to that stench, smiling again.  They could not believe that we could smell this hideous smell on their clothing -- rats -- anyone that has smelled a male goat, rutting in particular, and they seem to do that late summer (just when we were at Brian's for the barbeque), knows that I mean.  I recall when we were down at your place, Brian, for that bee barbeque, Jody (Pokabee) Janelle (Brendhans' better half Brendhan  tongue  and I were almost puking from the stink of the billy goat (those guys couldn't smell him, go figure that one, eeks!!!)   Anyways, not sure where I was going with this, just had to add my two cents in here, beautiful days, that life filled with love, health, and every other good thing that could possibly be wished upon another person of the human race, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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