Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hatch Day!

Probably the best days on any farm are the days when new animals are born or hatch, whichever the case may be.  I would liken it to waiting for Christmas morning or your birthday.  Today is just such a day at the Singleton Roost.  We have several broody hens around the farm, including two Silkie hens and a couple of Serama hens.  Two of my blue cream Silkie hens are due to hatch any day now.  The normal gestation period of chickens is 21 days.  Ours can hatch anytime after about the 19th day so we start anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new chicks a few days ahead of schedule.  The heat has been dreadful for a few weeks now so we watch them carefully.  We make sure to know when the hatch occurs with the broody hens so that we can have cool clean water available for the chicks within a few hours of hatching.

Normally I get up and have coffee on the porch (one of my very favorite things to do even in the hot summer and cold winter months).  After a cup of coffee, I get breakfast started and my husband and son go down to let chickens out (most of ours free range) and refill waterers and such.  They also check the broody hens to see if anything is happening.  This morning my husband returns with the news that I have 3 Silkie chicks so far from one hen.  We think the other hen started setting a few days later so hers will be a few more days.  He gave them water and feed for the chicks when they are ready to bring them out for food.  Normally the hen will stay with the nest until she feels all the eggs that are going to hatch have hatched.  This could take 24 -48 hours.  The new chicks will do fine until then with the exception of possibly getting to water.  He put the water by the nest box for the chicks.
Now the rush is on to get done and get down to the barn to see the new babies.  We also have some in the incubator due to hatch any day now.  We will have a busy few days with all the hatching going on.  One of the Serama hens will possibly have eggs hatching today or tomorrow.  She and her chicks will move in to a brooder pen in my cute little chicken house.  The Serama are much smaller and the nest box if up off the floor of the pen so we will move her to a better pen to get the babies up and going.

Our grand daughter, Emmylou (now 2 years, 4 months old) will be here this evening to spend the night with us.  She is a chicken addict.  She is always amazed when the chicks pip and start unzipping their shell.  She loves to be here when we candle as well.  Emmylou is quite the little farm girl and knows all about the baby chicks growing in the eggs.  At Easter, she ran around the yard finding her plastic eggs, opening them, dumping the candy on the ground and moving to the next egg and repeating the process.  Finally she looked up at me and asked, "Where are the babies?"  That's when we realized she was running about trying to find her some baby chicks.

Also, I recently won a raffle for some Blue Cream, Buff and White Silkie hatching eggs from one of the better breeders.  I set those eggs on Thursday and they will be due to hatch on August 10!  I am extremely excited and cannot wait for those to hatch.  They come from championship bloodlines and will be a nice addition to my flock (adding another good bloodline).

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