So it’s been a few months of drama around here – not that you’d guess it given the complete lack of blog posts (sorry!)
When I last left you, we were enjoying our new chick, Speckles, and waiting for our first lot of eggs to hatch in the incubator. Well, it was a bit of a disaster all round. Speckles developed paralysis of the legs and died not long after. It was a very sad day around here as he was a real little character, spending his time flying up and onto his mum Sophie’s back, riding around on her back until he’d slide off. Here he is perched under Sophie:
The ill-fated incubator hatch:
That was followed by a long and agonising hatch in the incubator. Using a new incubator, and being new to incubating, we were still learning what we were doing (despite reading the manual a thousand times). Hubby had mentioned that he suspected the turning mechanism hadn’t been working properly for the first five days of the incubation period. I’m guessing he was right. Of our dozen eggs or so eggs, only one hatched. The chick, a little black thing, struggled to break through the shell, taking much longer than what I’ve read should be the case. I stood by watching from the viewing holes, but powerless to intervene – according to everything I’ve read you really should let nature take its course. Despite the chick finally breaking free of the shell, it never stood or walked but lay down and died. Honestly, it was absolutely heart-breaking to watch and has completely put me off hatching eggs in the incubator, at least for now.
Here’s a pic of the ill-fated egg hatch being set up:
And the incubator:
A little while after that I decided to take the kids into town to stay for a night and came home to discover there had been a storm big enough to knock out our phoneline, internet and electricity. It also managed to blow up our modem. Nice. The computer, hooked up to a surge-protector, survived (apparently surge-protectors work, who’d have thought?) The electricity was sorted within a day, the phone and internet took a lot longer. After a couple of weeks and several attempts later our phone was up and running again.
So, given our disasters with hatching, hubby decided to get a few chicks from a feed store down in the big city. The chicks were (supposedly) sexed to ensure we wouldn’t get a rooster, and came with a rooster-return guarantee. We thought we’d give some purebred chicks a try to see which breeds we preferred. We took home one Light Sussex (“Lemon”), one Barnevelder (Crème), and one New Hampshire Red (“Butterscotch”). Given the fact that it was summer in the sub-tropics, no heat lamp was required which simplified matters.
Here the new chicks are growing up:
Oh, yes, and true to our usual form, two out of the three chicks were roosters. Crème and Lemon both started crowing a couple of days ago! I suspected, given the neck and saddle feathers and general behaviour, but that confirmed it. We’ll be sorry to see either of them go as they have been beautiful chickens. Lemon, the Light Sussex, is a particular favourite. Ah well!
A lot more has been going on! I’m going to make an effort to post shorter updates more frequently 🙂
Upcoming in the next post (not three months from now, promise!) – Giant Birds of Death, Tornadoes in the Sky and Other Less Dramatic Stuff.
Hope you’re having a great week,