The excitement and anxiety levels are high today. The first two of the chicks chipped tiny holes in their eggs last night and I woke at quarter past four this morning hoping to find a couple of chicks in the incubator. Sadly I had no such luck. But just before 9am, the miracle that is nature showed us just how clever it can be, as the first egg started to hatch fully.
This is the only egg that we have left that had been fertilised by the Cream Legbar cockerel (that has since died) and was laid by Jack, so we have an emotional investment in this one. We shouldn't I know, but we've grown hopeful that the cockerel's genes will live on in this little egg.
I watched as the little chick fought its way out of the shell and filmed some of the process. If you can't see the video below you can find it on youtube here.
Number One chick comes into the world
I will add to and update this blog as more of the chicks hatch.
It's now twelve hours since the first chick hatched and since then, in the middle of the afternoon, a second chick hatched. This is the first of the white Jersey Giant birds. It has hatched as a bedraggled, straggly grey and cream chick and already it's fluff has dried into a very pale grey and white chick. As it matures it should become pure white.
This second chick is about two-thirds of the size of Number One, but then, so was it's egg. Ironically, these little birds will eventually grow into huge chickens almost the size of a turkey. They were developed in USA in the 19th century to be large meat birds, originally there was only a black variety, but the white bird (which is about a pound lighter than the black ones) came soon afterwards.
Two more chicks have broken their shells but are taking a long old time to break out. I have sat next to the incubator as much as I can as I'd like to see another one come out of it's shell, but the inside of the incubator is steamed up and I can see very little now.
They are surprisingly noisy for such little beings!
Further updates later.