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
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.....