Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Welcome to the World! Now Wait.

When a lamb is born, it's usually standing and nursing within 20 minutes.

A chick can go 72 hours without its first taste of food or drink of water.

This necessity is because a chicken egg's incubation period varies. While the hen may begin sitting on a clutch of eggs at the same time, some chicks may hatch on Day 21. Others wait until Day 22, and the stragglers may hang out in the shell until Day 23.

The hen won't leave the nest until she no longer hears peeping from the unhatched eggs. That means the chicks born on Day 21 must hang out underneath the hen and wait until their siblings hatch.

Our chicks in the incubator began hatching on Monday. Once in the morning and once at night, I remove the chicks from the incubator and put them under the heat lamp in a nearby pen.

Like the mama hen, I listen for peeps when I open the incubator. I hear a few.

Now I must wait and see if they're strong enough to peck their way out of the shell.

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