Thursday, August 31, 2006

MYRTLE at 3 weeks

You've come a long way Myrtle!
White winged Myrtle is in the lead!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

3 weeks old!

Every evening I let Meredith and her babies "free range" for a couple hours. She is turning out to be a great mother and I am sure she will sit on eggs again, now that she is in the habit.
At dusk, after they free range, Meredith settles down in the box that her chicks were born in! Then, I transfer them to their private coop area so bigger hens don't bother them.
The chick in the front is MYRTLE, the youngest and she is my favorite. She has white wings and I have no idea what egg or from what hen she has descended from; But like all my offspring, she is a mutt hen :)
I am amazed at how protective Meredith is. If a another hens gets too close to them, she will attempt to fight for blood!
At 2 months I will let them join the gaggle for good. The chicks should be weaned by that time.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Well, today I put MEREDITH, tupper, merry and myrtle out in the big world. They have their own portion of the coop and a doghouse for shelter.

So far, tupper has "escaped" but all is well. I plug up any holes I see. They sure like scratching in the dirt. They are about 12 days old.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pippy died

I think Pippy (an adoptee) had a plugged up butt.. this happens.. I made efforts to clean her up but I was too late. So now Meredith has 3 chicks. After the wekeend, I am going to put them in the coop area but wire them off to protect from the other big hens and roosters.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

proud meredith


Well - this morning , Myrtle is doing well with her siblings, Tupper, Merry and and Pippy. So far so good.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Surpise!, late last night one of the 2 eggs was "faintly cheeping". I figured it would hatch by morning.
In the AM it had not hatched and the incubator was only at about 94; So I called Truvey and he suggested to raise the temp. immediately.
Well, I raised it to 98 - ish, and half an hour later (amazing) MYRTLE entered this world. She isn't as feisty as TUPPER, so I will keep her in the warm incubator tonight and keep watch on her tomorrow.
Hopefully, tomorrow night I will to put MYRTLE under Meredith's wing. Meredith is doing well with her three chicks, Tupper, Merry, and Pippy.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Poor GOOBER died last night.. I think he was internally injured from yesterdays stomping.
However, last night a feisty new chick was born in the incubator. I named her TUPPER - I have a good feeling about her and that she will survive. After she spent all day long in the incubator, I just put Tupper under Meredith's wing.
Now MEREDITH has just 3 chicks - Merry, Pippin and Tupper.
There are still 2 remaining eggs in the incubator, but no action yet! I have a feeling they will not be hatching.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

GOOBER and mates

Little Goober is already doing better

The 2 new foster chicks, Pippin and Merry.

Well, I didn't mention in my last post that since I have the 3 remaining fertile eggs PLUS GOOBER in the incubator - that MEREDITH had no more eggs to sit on...! So, I ran out earlier today and bought TWO 3 day old chicks from the local feedstore. Truvey suggested I put them with Meredith so they could bond. THIS HAS WORKED! She is already acting very protective when I walk into the coop and approach her!
Tonight, I will put MEREDITH and her 2 babies in the hutch - which is safe from other hens. I hope she can hone her maternal skills... and these chicks are too fesity and strong to be crushed! At the same time I will give GOOBER another day in the incubator to get stronger and then I will put her under MEREDITH'S wing tomorrow night. The 3 eggs in the incubator should hatch in the next couple days so hopefully by Sunday night (if all goes well) MEREDITH will have 6 chicks in the hutch: 4 from my coop and 2 foster kids....more Sunday night.

its tougher than it seems...UPDATE

peeling the eggshell from Goober.

Well, yesterday the baby chick in the former blog posting died. So did another lighter colored chick. As a first time mother , MEREDITH is clumsy with her newborns. With some brainstorming from Truvey, I realised that when MEREDITH was taking breaks, other hens were hopping up to the nest and stomping on some of the eggs. One egg producd a fetus and was cracked too much. Another egg had a healthy chick but when MEREDITH was taking a short break, several hens ate the fetus as well as the healthy egg. For me, the hatching experience has been unnerving, because I am emotionally involved! TODAY I became very concerned when a new chick looked very squashed as she was hatching from her egg. Truvey came over with his incubator to help some of the eggs along and give me advice and instruction on helping MEREDITH raise her first brood of chicks. He is so gifted! The "squashed" egg had been hatching for about 20 hrs and it appeared that the chick was having
problems... so Truvey "helped" the chick by carefully peeling away some shell so
that the delicate membranes and veins would not tear. I never realised how delicate the hatching process really is! The chick is OK, she is now in the incubator, and looking better. We have called her GOOBER but that name is subject to change :)
Goober is now in the incubator along with 3 other eggs which will hatch in the nest day or so. On the weekend I will put little Goober and her friends back with MEREDITH.
When I pick up one of the eggs, I can actually HEAR it peeping -- AMAZING!
In conclusion, out of EIGHT eggs, 2 birds died, one was a dead fetus, and one was eaten by greedy hens, one has survived with help (so far so good) and 3 are in the incubator. SUCH IS LIFE.

This is how I found "Goober" amongst eggs that had been squashed by MEREDITH'S coop mates

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


21 days today and MEREDITH had her first baby. wow -- a fuzzy little brown ball....very very cute.

PS. MERE mean MOTHER in French.

Saturday, August 05, 2006




DAY 17!

Well, we have about 3 -4 days to go.
Today I candled the eggs... SIX are looking pretty good, and the chicks are moving within the eggs!
If it wasn't for these two roosters, JASPER and HANS, Meredith wouldn't be so busy sitting on her eggs :)
I estimate that by wednesday night MEREDITH will have a couple chicks...but all in good time !

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

..after 14 days

Well, today MEREDITH has been sitting for 2 weeks. Truvey came over and helped me candle. We candled 6 eggs... 5 were definitely fertile and one was questionable.
When candling, you can actually see the shape of the baby chick under the shell and the air sac! If the other 2 eggs are fertile, we'll have at least SEVEN chicks. (One egg of the original nine was rotten) That's a big brood for MEREDITH.
Here's some pix of MEREDITH taking maternity breaks. Also pictured a noctural photo of the coop with MEREDITH in her nesting box.