Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Little - The life story of our 1st hatch - Part 1

Right around Christmas time, we received 4 Aracuana eggs which we were told were fertile.  Ok, great news for us!  We wanted to try out the incubator that hubby built and we want more chickens.   Here's a picture of the incubator below:

This incubator was built with scrap wood, an old computer fan, light bulb and fixture, a couple of plugs, some old R3 insulation, a dimmer switch to control the bulb, misc wires, and the rack we purchased and cut to fit.  We also purchased the thermometer for less then $10 at Home Depot.

We should have had a thermostat in here to control the temperature. The temperature seemed to fluctuate more then we expected.  We tried to keep it around 100-102 degrees. We kept the humidity around 50% to start and then lowered it to around 35%.  We really didn't know what we were doing, we were getting so much conflicting information. One day we came home and it was at 106.  Ahhh!!! We were afraid our chickens were going to be fried.

On day 18, we were excited!  We put the eggs below the rack, added another glass of water to raise the humidty to around 59-61%  and we waited.  Waited and waited and waited and waited.........................

On day 19 we saw one of the eggs moving.  We were SO EXCITED!

On day 20, the movement practically ceased.  In our desperate but clearly misguided attempt to save this chicken my hubby decided to "operate".  He carefully was able to remove the shell from the top part of the egg leaving the membrane intact.  He used one of his tools to do this. It took quite a while. He poked a hole in the membrane for the chick to breathe - "DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!. Never do that, blood came out so we put the egg back in the incubator and left it alone.
I joined a chicken forum to seek help.  They were so helpful and told us to keep pulling off the shell a little at a time and stop if any blood came out.  We did that.  So the chick was breathing and taking water we would give to it via a paper towel.   This is the 1st picture below of what I just described.

See the little beak sticking out?

We were so excited to get this little chick rescued and hoping he would live.

More to follow in Part 2, check it out!

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