The last brood of chicks for the year hatched yesterday, on the Solstice. Twenty out of twenty-one developed eggs hatched, a 95% hatch rate. I’m very pleased. These babies are so cute, active and inquisitive, nice little Silver Ameraucanas.
It’s great to have the hatching done for the year. No more worry about the power failing, the equipment malfunctioning or needing to add water every day for humidity. Now I just have to get these little ones through their first week and out in the barn. Chicks in the house is fun for the first couple days then the smell and dust and cleaning get old quickly.
It is entertaining to watch their antics as the chicks explore and learn. They are very unsteady on their legs the first couple days, tripping, tumbling, rolling about and staggering off out of control in odd directions. Quickly, they discover how to control their bodies. By the end of the first week the birds are getting tiny wing feathers and taking very short flights in the box. That signals time for the brood to move to a larger cage in the barn. They can practice flying where there is plenty of room to move.
Before long these twenty will join their older siblings free-ranging around the barnyard. The second and third hatches total thirty-nine chicks. The babies of differing ages have blended together all by themselves into a flock. The older ones seem to delight in leading the younger chicks to all the fascinating corners they have found in the yard. I’m certain that within three weeks this third hatch will swell the flock’s numbers into an impressive gang of chicks.