Thursday, May 17, 2012

Four Chicken Littles

Hello, sweet chicks!

When we left the chickens last, two had hatched, one didn't make it out of the egg in time, and there were six eggs left to go. Two of those eggs hatched the night before I flew to New York and I got to meet them in the morning before heading to the airport. The last four eggs were still quiet, and we didn't know when they would hatch. 

Well, to make a long story short, they didn't. Nathan's parents had to go back to Illinois and they had to take the incubator with them. They thought the eggs would be fine under the heat lamp, as long as Nathan turned them once a day. Which he did, diligently. But it soon became clear that something wasn't right - the eggs were long over due to hatch and there was no movement, chirping, or pecking from inside the shells. We're not sure what went wrong - were they damaged during the drive to North Carolina? Did they dry out under the heat lamp? - but needless to say, we were very sad that they didn't make it. Poor little eggs. 

On the bright side, we ended up with four beautiful, hearty, healthy chicks, and they're all thriving. They're still living in a bin in the guest room until we finish building the coop and all their feathers come in. In the meantime, I love hearing the sound of their chirps through the door, I love visiting them and holding them one by one, and I love watching them trip over themselves (chickens, it turns out, are not the most graceful bird). I've been trying to get them to fall in love with me, and they're warming up. One chicken in particular seems to like me, and walks on to my hand voluntarily. I have also been placing feed in my hand and letting them peck it from my palm, which is exciting for all of us. How about some photos and a video?

Zooming towards the camera.

Pecking the lens. Oops!

I took two videos of them this morning. The first is 15 seconds long and is awesome because in the last three seconds, one of the chicks scratches herself like a dog. I nearly died of cuteness.

The second video is about 30 seconds and it is basically 30 seconds of chicks eating feed out of my hand. My hand doesn't move - I'm trying to get them used to me and my presence, and I'm pretty sure it's working.

And with that, you're officially up to date on Life with the Henneward Chickens. More soon.