I woke up at 6 this morning, very early for this night owl. The first thought on my mind was that I had to check on my hens. I put on my bathrobe and slippers and headed straight to the chicken coop. I let all the hens out to forage then checked on Ollie. I listened for the sound of peeping and I heard it! Faint peeps were coming from under her! I lifted carefully and found a dark chick, just barely dried. How exciting! Ollie is doing such a great job.
I went back to bed after trying in vain to get photos. Have you ever tried to photograph chicks under a very protective hen? Lemme tell ya, it's darn near impossible! And if Ollie wasn't such a nice hen I'd have bloody hands by now! She tolerated my poking and prodding but just barely. After my nap I finally managed to get some decent shots. Here are the first chicks' legs. I wanted a photo of its face though.
There, that's more like it! Its mama must have been an Australorp.
I could also see that another egg had been zipped. The chicks' beak was poking out and it was breathing. See the white egg tooth on the end of a black beak? Hatching is hard work! Come on little fella, you can do it!
The other two eggs have not pipped that I can tell. I'm afraid to do too much poking around in there for fear of killing them. I hope you enjoy the photos, I risked life and limb taking them!
Daisy's clutch is due to hatch today too. I haven't heard a single peep. She's sitting like a statue and hasn't taken a break at all today. I'm thinking there's something going on but I can't see a darn thing. The drakes are beside themselves with nerves.
OK, maybe they're not that nervous, but I think they sense that something is going on. Waterfowl form very tight bonds as a family unit.
There's not much to do when you're waiting for babies. You can knit booties, clean house or, in our case, plant trees. Betty was a bundle of nerves too, so she helped me plant some trees by the chicken coop.
Hang in there Betty, the babies will be here soon!