chick, chicken, chickens, egg, eggs, farm, Farmer´s market, hatching, hobbies, homestead, homesteading,, Keeping Chickens, killed, loss, mother, sustainability

Sad and Crushed.

My mamma nerves are raw tonight.

A little over 3 weeks ago I went to the farmers market to pick up some eggs. When using set eggs I saw that they were fertile eggs. So on a whim I put 2 of them in my small little incubator. I thought since they had been refrigerated that there would be nothing of the eggs and from my reading on the web it said that they would most likely not hatch but I was wanting to give it a try.

Ten days later I candle the eggs and see that one had started developing. I thought this very cool and had this great blog post brewing in my head about how you can hatch out eggs from the farmers market at only pennies on the chick where they would be good layers since they come from stock used for laying.

Anyhow, fast forward to today, day 23 of the chick being in the egg and the normal cycle 21 days to hatch day and I thought the worst, that the baby chicken had died. Crack open the top where the air sack was and to my surprise I see movement. I instantly feel horrible. Baby was still in there and alive and clearly just behind because, duh… I put COLD eggs into the incubator and it took a few days for the temp to get just right.

I hurry up and put the egg back in the incubator and go online to look for guidance. With the information I had given of baby being on day 23 someone told me to pip the egg (making a hole in the membrane) so that the baby could breath. I try and it starts bleeding! I’m horrified! I feel so guilty and dumb. Poor baby I should have just left it alone to do its natural thing like I believe in for all healthy births! I watch until I notice that baby is not moving anymore. My heart sinks. I leave the egg in the incubator until the boys go to bed to investigate. I poke at it and no movement. I watch for anything but the color now is off too. Finally, I come to terms that the baby is no longer alive in the egg and I crack it open to find a beautiful baby that died because I could not wait longer.

Perfectly formed. All the toes and nails and everything there. Just me being a bad, ignorant mother hen. Had I given the baby a couple of more days to finish absorbing the yoke and pip itself then I would have been welcoming a new member to my flock of chickens instead of feeling loss and guilt tonight.

Ameraucana, Australorp, box, brooder, chick, chicken, chicks, Cube, egg, Eglu,, Orpington, Tulsa

Got Chickens on the Brain

Yep, I have got chickens on the brain bad! Yesterday I drove all over Tulsa County trying to find the chickens I wanted for my backyard coop (that we have yet to build). I want colorful eggs and good birds. I chose an Ameraucana, a Buff Orpington, and Australorp. I also want some Icelandic hens and will be hatching some out later this spring. I found a farm here that has all 3 breeds for me and a breeder of Icelandics sending me some eggs from Washington. I´m so excited! So then I have green or blue eggs, brown eggs and white eggs!

Yesterday we set up a brooder box for the chicks and now we sit and wait. I’m using a cardboard box until I have organized my deep bins in the basement and free one up to use for chicks.  Hubby is putting together my coop this weekend. Is it so odd to be so excited about feathery farm animals? The boys keep asking “Can we go get the chickens now?” I´ll be letting them decorate the outside of the box tomorrow.

I’ve read and researched and getting my chicks now against a wiser person’s advice of waiting til April (I do value this advice just to impulsive to go by it). Just getting a little start means I am just that much closer to having eggs, hopefully. Some of the birds I´m getting are even 3 weeks old already. Hope the stench in my house won’t get too bad if I change bedding every day until it is warm enough to put them outside.

Yay for being a step closer to being more self sufficient!

Is anyone else getting ready for spring? If so, how?

Here is the book I have been reading on the subject of chickens the last 2 days.

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Dreaming of owning one of these Eglu Cubes.

And getting some of these for my kids to run around in the backyard in this spring.