We put 10 eggs in to incubate and our "hatch date" was this past weekend. I had candled the eggs at one week, finding that all but one egg looked to be fertile. I left that egg in there, just in case...hoping I was wrong. After candling them again at 2 weeks I was pretty sure that I was right, but still left it in there....praying it didn't get broken somehow, what a mess that would be!
Saturday morning, we had our first chick make it's entrance into this world. A fluffy yellow chick, was actively making it's way around the other eggs and making a huge racket. I thought for sure it was encouraging the other chicks to join it on the outside. Even before that chick hatched, we could hear them chirping to one another. So cute!
One by one, we saw cracks in the other eggs. One by one, they began to emerge and make a huge ruckus. I finally got to see one hatch early Sunday morning, or perhaps it was Saturday night, I honestly don't know for sure. Such a cool thing to see...I wish I could have gotten it on video. I did get one video, but I'm not sure how to get it loaded onto my blog...I'll have to work on that. :)
We ended up with 6 chicks from the 9 eggs I knew were fertile. Sadly, one of the unhatched chicks had started to break it's way out, only to die in it's shell. Two other eggs had no cracks at all and weren't rocking around like the others had been before cracks were seen. Another chick had managed to crack it's shell all the way around, but seemed to be stuck. This morning I decided to help it...knowing it should do it on it's own, but not wanting it to die if I could help it. I honestly figured it would surely die if I didn't, so I broke my own rule and helped. This little chick seems to be OK, but is not "right" either. We are watching it to see how it does, but I honestly don't know that it will survive. It looks much like the hunchback Quasimodo. Sad, but it's a fighter...I'm hoping it makes it.
SO....we have officially hatched our first eggs in an incubator. I'm thrilled! We are saving more eggs to do a larger batch later this week. My goal is to put 24 in the incubator and give it a go again. We will raise these birds for our freezer. Our hens and rooster are all large breed chickens, so they should grow nicely. :) I LOVE the fact that they are coming from our own birds, doesn't get much more sustainable than that!