My life… with a few chickens thrown in for good measure

Archive for April, 2011

The chicks at 3 weeks

The two sablepoots are getting their feathers in & look a bit bedraggled at the 3 week Mark.
The pekins are looking fab! 7 out of 9 have frizzled and I think they are going to be quite beautiful by the time they are 12 weeks old.

So far I have 2 definite doodlers, a lavender frizzle and a black frizzle. Time will tell if any more decide to show their true colours off. Basically you look for a big comb with wattles, and two have wattles already! Girls tend not to develop their head gear as quick. Boys will also attempt to doodle around the 9 to 12 weeks stage

In an attempt at feather sexing at a day old I figured 5 boys and 6 girls but I’ve found from past experience it’s not been a particularly reliable science as far as pekins are concerned

I shall leave you with pictures of the 11 chicks at 3 weeks old
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Hatching day arrived…

So, on day 18 for my 9 eggs & day 17 for the eggs from chickenstreet (Saturday) I stopped the turning mechanism and increased the humidity to 65%. I noticed quite a few of the eggs were rocking, including the ones not due to stop turning til the following day, which was very early for rocking! All candled ok so looked forward to 12 babies to start hatching on the Tuesday/Wednesday.
However on the evening of day 19 (Sunday) I noticed this…

pipped egg

This little chick had pipped 2 days early!
At first I was excited but I then had a mild panic as it was now bedtime and I hadn’t got anything ready. The brooder wasn’t clean in fact it was still full of toys ( yes its a plastic toybox), I hadn’t sterilised the drinker or cleaned and disinfected the electric hens.I had bought the chick crumb so at least they could eat. Luckily the chicks stay in the incubator for approximately 24 hours before needing to go in a brooder so I had the following day to get it all ready. Because the chicks pip was quite big, I expected it would hatch overnight, so I set up the CCTV.

Its a wired system but so easy to use, in the morning when I switched the tv on I was greeted by not one, but two little chicks!

before
After

Two early chicks! both my pekins one lavender and one black. the rest followed in fairly quick succession over that and the following day.

little black pekin chick on its way out below

chick working its way around, breaking the egg
almost out
a tired chick hatches

while all this was going on I got the brooder all set up and once the chicks were fluffy and dry they moved into the brooder, which meant the just hatched ones could rest.

Unfortunately the last egg containing a lemon cuckoo chick from chickenstreet was bashed about by the others. The shell was broken, breaking blood vessels in the membrane and the chick inside died.

These are the 11 that did hatch, pictures taken on their way to the brooder, approx 24 hrs old.











They are the loveliest little things, the sablepoots ( one is pictured with a penny) are tiny!
Their feathers started coming through really quickly! I think 7 or 8 of my 9 pekins are frizzled
frizzled feathers

They are growing up beautifully and are a week old now