Chicks and how to sex them

I tried to think of a nicer way of titling this but that is basically it.  We have launched ourselves into the world of hatching chicks.  To begin with we were very new to this, we had never incubated chicks before.  We had heard from other people who said,candling was a joke and how can you see a tiny little dot in the egg so we did not bother.  Around 18 days I started to get anxious and started reading about candling and discovered there was a whole lot more to it than what I had initially heard.  We candled a few of our eggs and saw that they were viable and we were all the more excited.  We had also read that if an egg was bad you could smell a musty smell right through the egg.  We had only put in 10 eggs and 9 had no odor but the 10th clearly did so we disposed of it.  Day 21 came and went and nothing happened I was so disappointed.

On the morning of the 22nd day there were pip marks on an egg and then another, over the next 24 hours 4 eggs hatched. Two more hatched and another started both chicks that hatched later died and the one that started was never strong enough to hatch.  Technically our hatch rate was 60% but our survival rate was only 40%.  We later remembered it took us the better part of a day to reach and maintain the desired heat, hence our hatch delay.

The children love the chicks.

He was so worried it would drop, that chick wasn’t going anywhere!

Hannah was not to worried about dropping them, I love how most of the kids have their eyes on the chicks!

Taliah with my favourite chick!

I do believe Joshua is holding a future rooster!  This one hatched first and was trying to put everyone else in their place right away!

Not too sure about how Joel is holding the chick but he sure likes them.

I love this picture of Hannah peeking in the brooder.  This is our newest brooder, Dave converted our old TV stand into a brooder so now we can sit and watch reality!   It still needs a complete coat of whitewash on the outside and I will post better pictures another day.

The four little chicks our doing great.  In the first few days between day 1 and four you can sex chickens by looking at their wings.  If all the feather tips are even you have a male.  If there are two rows you have a female.  

This is quite simple to do, just gentle pull their wing out and you are looking for the tips of the feathers on the end of the wing.

We were all set to stick some more eggs in the incubator when we noticed our little bantam hen had gone broody.  We decided to let her sit on some eggs.  She is sitting on six eggs.

Poor thing she isn’t moulting, our rooster is a little too rough on her.  I think she is quite happy to be sitting on those eggs.  We have also placed 24 more eggs in the incubator so here is hoping for a bunch of chicks in a couple more weeks. Theses were taken this evening their tail feathers are just starting to grow!Chicks are not easy to get a good picture of they are constantly moving!!!  My favourite little chick-hen.

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