Thursday, March 21, 2013

Welcome Spring with a New Chick!

Welcome Spring!  We welcomed Spring here at The Egg Basket with some new arrivals yesterday!  We're still staggering hatches indoors using our incubators and hatchers but we also had a great Spring surprise outdoors! 

Amy and Autumn have been brooding (sitting) on eggs in their nest box together for just about 3 weeks.  The timing couldn't have been more perfect for a new Spring baby chick!  As you can see from the photo to the left, we spotted a pipped egg on Tuesday morning when Autumn hopped up for her morning food and water.  The hens rarely leave the nests and Autumn and Amy take turns with their once a day meals.  I hopped in quickly to check on them since I knew I wouldn't have long to peek and managed to snap this photo.  We were excited and worried because these two ladies were our first broody pair of hens to successfully sit so long.  The fact that they were sitting together added to me nervousness for the safety and health of the chick.

As you can see from THIS photo, we had nothing to worry about.  Little Ver (Latin for Spring) hatched just fine with his mamas and was moving around and on them in their nest box yesterday.  Once again, I timed it to hop in their run and peek while Autumn was out and found the little guy (after trying several times throughout the day and not being able to see him between BOTH hens).  When they're both in the nest box and we try to look they somehow move him between them and back behind Amy's right wing so we can't see him.  With Autumn out of the box I could just spot him, I gently lifted Amy's wing and his curious little head popped right up!  He's just beautiful!

As Ver ran around the front of Amy she gave me a nice warning growl that let me know I had overstayed my welcome.  I noticed that Autumn started heading back towards the coop at the sound of Amy's growl also and I wanted to ensure she ate and drank all she needed so I quickly shut the nesting box and left their run.  I don't want to disturb or upset the hens too much, we still have 6-7 other eggs under them.  I'm trying to time it perfect today to head out during the afternoon snack time when hopefully one or the other of the ladies will be off the nest again.  I need to see if any of the other eggs have pipped or hatched by now.  It's always excited to hatch eggs but there's something special about watching these hens do it all themselves with no intervention or help from us, just the way God intended.  I think Ver might be our prettiest chick yet...but don't tell the others!

Many Blessings,

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