My hatch started on Monday, July 26.
I had 44 eggs that made it to lockdown.
Out of those, 30 hatched healthfully; 8 never pipped; 3 pipped, zipped a little, and died; and one cute little black sexlink completely hatched, but was never able to pull himself up off of the incubator floor, and he died right there. I guess that's what they call "failure to thrive." The remaining two hatched but didn't absorb their belly buttons right. I know that's not what it's called. One of them improved a lot with the application of wet paper towels and lots of time in the 'bator, so i sent him/her with the 30 i sold, just in case he/she makes it. The other also could not walk - and didn't appear to improve significantly in the belly button department, so that one had to be put down.
I know where some of my problems probably came from. Too many eggs. After about ten chicks had hatched and had nowhere to go - and were running around the incubator trouncing on the heads of other chicks who were trying to hatch - i knew i had to get them out of there and give the other babies a chance. So i HAD to do what i said i wouldn't do - and open the incubator.
I was very careful. I took the 'bator to the bathroom, and i turned on the shower on hot for a long time to steam the bathroom up good before i opened up the incubator. But still, i'm convinced that had something to do with my low hatch rate.
After that, i ended up opening the 'bator over and over again by the same method because i was afraid that chicks were getting shrinkwrapped or whatever.
So, lesson learned - next time i'll start with 24 eggs, and i'll leave the incubator alone until they're all done - or until 3 days have passed since the first one hatched.
It might be better if i just put the whole thing in a closet somewhere and don't even look at it for a couple of days. I'm not sure if i can do that, but it might be worth looking into.
I sold all the viable chicks yesterday, so here are the cute pictures i have to share of the darlings.
Here is what i call "chicken carpet." It's naptime, and they're all huddled up together in a tight mass. They look like a great big chicken fuzz rug....that wiggles a little.
I wish i had taken better pictures of these. I had six or seven nearly identical chicks, who were solid black with yellow throats, bellies, and wing tips. When they were standing up in front of you, they looked like little penguins. Very cute!
The box - for going to their new home.
30 chicks in a box (and lots of cute little baby chick poop)
just a cute picture of the very first to hatch
and this little guy with the giant shock of punk rock yellow on his head
the first ten hatches
the first little boy
the original 44 little lives
I miss them.