We buy fresh eggs every week from one of Stuart's co-workers who has backyard chickens. Her husband homeschools their children so they appreciate hands-on learning opportunities and she also knows we have been at least a little interested in having our own backyard chickens. So now that she is ready to get a few more chickens, she asked us if we would like to watch them hatch. She said we can give them back or even keep them if we decide we want to.
She gave us 32 eggs and let us borrow her incubator and rocker. The incubator keeps the eggs at 99.5 degrees. The trays in the bottom hold water to keep humidity in the air. The rocker very gently rocks the eggs and slowly turns them. The eggs stay in the rocker for 18 days then we will remove it and allow the chicks to position themselves property for hatching.
The eggs started hatching on the morning of day 21, just as expected. We woke up to this fun sight!!
A little while later, the chick had completed hatched out of his egg but he didn't look much like a chick. He was very wet and very small. He was also very chirpy!
We left him in the incubator until he dried out and his feathers fluffed up. By the end of the day we were able to take him out and hold him for a little while. He still needed to be kept warm so we only took him out for a little while at a time then we put him back in the incubator for a while.
Nicholas made a play area for him in a cardboard box!
Here's a video of him checking out his home. Listen to the cute chirps!
Newly hatched chicks don't need food right away because they fill their bellies with their egg's yolk right before they hatch. They can go a day or two before they need food. Stuart was able to bring home some baby chick medicated food crumbles so we were able to get some food to him by the end of the day. Here's a video of him trying out his crumbles...and then walking through it.
The kids just love holding and talking to our baby chick.
I finally had a chance to hold this little fluff ball myself. He is so little and cute!
I can't believe this is the same chick that came out of his egg earlier today looking so wet and scrawny!
Stuart decided that this baby chick would be named Nuggets. When the next chicks are born they will be named Rotisserie and BBQ. Ha ha!
Stuart is so gentle with little Nuggets. I think he likes him :)
I think Nuggets likes him too because he fell asleep in his warm hands. Or perhaps he was just worn out from all the attention he got today!