Monday, May 07, 2012

Chick Watch Oh'Twelve

Many fun and exciting things happened this weekend. There was a goodbye party at the bar for an MFA friends, during which I drank plenty of $2.50 Coronas and stayed out too late. There was an afternoon of day time drinking and big hats in honor of the Kentucky Derby, followed by a night of grilling and drinking games. There was a hungover morning of house cleaning followed by a clothing swap, where I scored some new outfits, got rid of a ton of things, and had a little sangria and too much guacamole. All of these things were fun, but you know what the weekend's real highlight was? These: 


Nathan's parents arrived last night, bringing with them nine perfect little chicken eggs. The eggs should begin to hatch Tuesday night, continuing into Wednesday. (Nathan's mom has hatched eggs before, and she's pretty good at predicting their birthday.) The eggs are in an incubator, which keeps them at the perfect temperature (36.6 C, in case you were wondering) and maintains a constant, slow rotation, so they don't end up cooking on one side. (I am told these incubators retail at $140, but Nathan's mom is thrifty and found hers used for $35.) In addition to eggs, she also brought us some supplies - a plastic bin for the chicks once they're born, a heat lamp to keep them toasty, a feeder, and two water dispensers - a small one for the bin, and a bigger one for the coop. 

The incubator.

About that coop - we still don't have one. This semester has been nuts, especially for Nathan (full time school + full time job = lots of half finished projects laying around the house). Luckily the chicks will live in the bin for a few weeks, so we have time. We're going to begin construction this week while his parents are here, and started last night by looking for plans and talking about what we wanted it to look like, how big we wanted it to be, etc. While we have nine eggs, we don't yet know which will be hens and which will be roosters. The hens we'll keep, of course, and the roosters will have to be re-homed. I'll most likely put them on Craigslist and give them away to someone in the country. So we'll probably end up with less than nine hens in the end, but there's no way to tell by looking at the eggs. 

Needless to say, we're super excited and giddy at the prospect of baby chickens. At one point, Nathan's mom told me that I will have to make sure and pick up the chicks every day, so they get used to my touch and scent, and learn to trust me like their own chicken momma. Have to pick them up? Forced to cuddle their tiny, fuzzy bodies? Such a hardship, but if that's what I must do, then do it I will. ;)

I hope to get some good photos and videos of the chicks hatching, and will of course share them here. BABY CHICKENS! I can't wait!