I was checking the chicks this morning, and to my surprise, two more eggs have little holes and cheeping chicks inside. I am home alone, so it is taking me a lot of self restraint to not sit in the hen house and watch them pop out of their shells!
The two oldest ones are now only a week old, but have started to get little feathers on their wings and are starting to lose their beautiful fluffy down!
Tonight, 3 days after the other two, we had another chick hatch. I got some photos of its progress, and still marvel at the fact that such a beautiful fluffy chick emerges from a tiny little shell that began at only 35 grams!
I know it looks dead in the photo, but it is just finding its feet and is happily chirping away.
Today we had two chicks hatch. I'm so happy that these ones hatched safely. There are still a few more eggs, but I'm not sure they will hatch. Henrietta is still sitting on the other eggs, so I will leave them there until I can be certain they are not going to hatch.
The chicks are now due. I rushed to the chook house tonight to find one egg with a small hole in it, and a cheeping chicken 'stuck' inside. I carefully helped the chick get free of the shell, but when I saw blood on my hands I knew something must be wrong. I put the chick back under the hen and jumped onto the Internet. I am now more educated and have discovered that you should almost never help a chick hatch, and that the hatching process from that first hole can take 24 hours. Unfortunately the blood vessels seal over in the last few hours, and I was clearly too early with the chick.
I'm upset that I jumped in to 'help' and ended up killing our first chick. I can hear cheeping from another egg right now and will definitely be leaving these ones to their own devices.