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Cheep! Cheep! May 7, 2006

Posted by Joe in Uncategorized.

Hooray! A good hatch!

After 21 days of patient “setting,”this next Buff Orpington was rewarded with 8 new downy fuzzballs. They began emerging Saturday night and, by Sunday afternoon, 8 of the 12 eggs she had beneath her had hatched out. (I couldn’t see any Saturday evening, but I could hear the squeaks and chirrs coming from underneath her).

I love the “angry eyebrows” she’s got in this picture! “Don’t mess with my young’uns!”

I am hopeful that this mama will turn out to be a better mother than the last one. Once her hatched ones began tottering about, she took them out to feed them and get them their first drink of water. She seems very protective of them, too- good sign.

Did you know that just before hatching out, a baby chick absorbs the remainder of its yolk? This allows it to survive for up to 3 days without food or water.

When a hen goes broody and is left to her own devices, she typically lays for several days in the hidden spot she wants to brood, then stops laying. Since the first egg may be a couple days older and warmed a day or two longer than the last, it may hatch that long before the others. Having its yolk as a food source for a while keeps it from starving or dehydrating before the last ones emerge.

These chicks are not actually this chicken’s offspring. These are Penedesencas, a Spanish breed that lays chocolate-colored eggs. (The varieties of shell colors just make my heart go “pitty-pat!”). We didn’t have any of these so I purchased the fertile eggs from a breeder and had them shipped (very carefully!).

Chickens are pretty good about hatching whatever you put beneath them. We are planning to let the next broodies set heritage breed turkey eggs for us. Can’t wait!

This a photo of the color eggs these Partridge and Wheaton Penedesencas will lay from one of my favorite websites.



1. Anonymous - May 9, 2006

Laura, these eggs look so cool. oh, and I wanted to thank you again for the ones you dyed and gave me at Easter. They are so pretty. I almost want to display them out of the carton before I use them.

2. Anonymous - May 9, 2006

Oh,…and the chicks are so cute. It’s hard to believe they could grow into something un-cuddly like the ones on that website.

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