Sunday, January 09, 2011

Which came first?

Well, in our's the egg! Or at least we hope it is...and as of Wednesday we have reason to believe that the project that started here with just the hope of fertilized eggs in our little styrofoam incubator has turned into living, growing, baby chicks.

Day 7 of our little eggs' lives presented the first opportunity to "candle" our babies and though we couldn't see through the dark mahogany of our Black Copper Marans we were able to see veins and a little black dot in 5 out of our 14 eggs (hopefully we just couldn't see the others yet, but they're still growing.)  It was kind of amazing because while we were taking this photo I had to hold very still and all of a sudden the black dot began to dance around on its own!
If you've been by our house in the past week chances are you've seen Jeff's keynote presentation (yes, we're Mac people) on our eggs...we have 2 Black Copper Marans (very rare), 3 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Golden Polish, 3 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 1 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, and 3 Wheaten Penedesenca...truthfully we only have 2 WPs after last night.

Yes, we've had our first casualty.  It started as a slightly foul odor upon opening the incubator and after I sniffed every single egg (man, it's like I'm a real farmer) I discovered that one WP just didn't smell right and rather than risk it blowing up and contaminating the rest of our eggs we decided we should throw it out.  But of course, me being the "scientific" type I just had to crack it open (kind of heart breaking since I had been turning this puppy 3+ times a day for 10 days).  We found a very yucky smelling substance that no longer resemebled an seemed as though it was ALL yoke...but there was no blood or sign of any growth and I think that means it was either a) not fertilized or b) "scrambled" in delivery.  Either way I'm happy we detected it early and that I didn't have to see the beginnings of a baby chick when we broke it open.  The sad news is that I think there's another one "going bad" (another WP) and I'm a little worried about what the next couple of days will be like...but I'm encouraged by the growth we saw in at least 5 of them and I'm looking forward to another "chicken ultrasound" this coming Wednesday.

Thanks for following us on our chicken adventure.  This coming weekend we have a class courtesy of Seattle Tilth that we're looking forward to and are in the process of figuring out what kind of coup we'll have/make when the chickens are ready!

I also wanted to mention where we got our eggs: I have loved using them thus far and would highly recommend them for products and information if you're interested in raising backyard chickens!  Although if you can find someone local through craigslist or the like you'll avoid the risk of something going wrong during shipping.


Kristen said...

this is so amazing, jenny, and i just love that you are bringing us all along on your journey of raising chickens. seriously, what a fun thing for your family to do together! i am so excited to see how many hatch, which breeds you end up with, etc.

Rebekah said...

I love this project so much too Jenny! I am wondering why you guys decided to go the egg route? we are strongly considering a chicken coop over here but had planned on buying chicks in the Spring - thoughts??

can't wait for your chicks to hatch Wes is going to be so adorable running around with them!

Jenny said...

funny you should ask that rebekah. jeff and i were just talking about "if we had it to do all over again" (which we will since chickens only lay eggs for about 3 years) what would we do?

i think this first time we wanted to get the full experience...see the growth and development from the very beginning and get "attached" to the chicks before they're born. And I'm so happy we are doing that...however, I think we'll just get day old chicks from now on...especially since we now know which breeds we'd really like (in fact we're picking up some day old chicks this Friday of a breed not in our bunch) and most hatcheries can tell the pullets from the cockerels...that way we will avoid getting a rooster!

so i would recommend that if people just want to jump right in that you skip the egg part and get some adorable day old chicks.

Lewy said...

I am so happy you guys are doing this! It makes me ache for the day when we can have space for a garden and some chicks of our own. :) For now I'll have to settle on deciding which kind of tomato seeds to plant for our front porch planters...

Rachel said...

I've been scheming to find a way to build a chicken coop on our roof, but alas, I think I will have to settle for visiting your chickens. I'm so excited to meet your little ladies. So fun!


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