One of the new black chicks
If you've ever wondered how newborn chicks can be shipped at a day old, spending hours in a box without food or water, it's because they have consumed the yolk of the egg prior to hatching. They don't need food for the first 24 hours. Too bad our own babies aren't like that, eh? Can you imagine getting a nice, long nap after you've struggled with labor for hours and hours, with no midnight or 2 am feeding to interupt you? Some days I think perhaps chickens are a little brighter than we give them credit for.
If you take a look at the middle picture, you'll see the egg on the bottom right has a crack in it. Again, another small sign that perhaps chickens are superior to humans. Not only does the mother hen not have to feed her young 'uns that first 24 hours, but she never had to go through labor! These little chicks have spent hours pecking away at their shells in an effort to come into this world. And their mother is happily setting in a nest of clean hay without a single contraction.
Before the eggs begin to hatch, you can hear the chicks peeping. By the time City Boy came home from work yesterday, they were going pretty good! When I got up this morning, there was one wet black chick. The last chick to hatch was a few hours ago. It's not looking promising for a 100% hatch rate, as we're not hearing peeping from any of the remaining eggs. But you can never tell.
Here's the thing I find interesting about this hatch; all of the eggs were blue. They all were layed by blue (black) hens. We've got three roosters; two of which are blue. So how many blue chicks have we got? Only half of what has hatched! Since I'm clueless on sexing chickens, I'll just have to wait for them to get a bit older before I can tell which ones are hens. I'll be keeping the blue hens to add to the flock and selling the lighter colored ones at the farmer's market. I know there were a couple of you interested in getting some chicks; there just aren't enough of them to keep themselves warm during shipping with this hatch. Perhaps a bit later, when the weather perks up a bit?
Now, Darling got some short videos, but will have to wait until tomorrow, along with the final head count!