Praise Jesus (And Other Chickens)

Next time I do a hatch in this incubator, I’m going to put it somewhere other than my bedroom.  All of the cheeping is driving me mad.  As soon as the sunlight peeks through my bedroom window, the chicks are awake and active, CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP CHEEPing at each other.  I tried putting in earplugs to help with the noise but I have this baffling tendency to pull earplugs out in my sleep. 😐 Not helpful, body.  Not helpful.

Jesus – Praise his fluffy little butt.

Because the chicks hatched on Christmas Day – we named all of them after people born on (or popularly thought to be born on) Christmas Day.   And, of course, predictably – the first chick tol hatch was named Jesus. “Pronounced how?” I hear you asking.

I’ll never tell.

Because my friends are terrible people – many of them have taken to giggling every time they hear someone say “praise Jesus” and imagine people offering prayers to a tiny, fluffy Easter Egger chick.

Isaac Newton (left) and Humphrey Bogart (right)

He’s* a Wheaten Araucana cross – the chick of one of the Golden Girls.  Two of them hatched, and we can tell Jesus from his brother Newton by Newton’s absence of a glorious Araucana beard.  He’s like a slightly less puffy version of Jesus.

Jesus and Newton both hatched on Christmas Day – while the others who were pipped, hatched overnight before Boxing Day.  The next little chick to come out was itty bitty Humphrey Bogart – one of Grendel’s chicks. Bogey is so tiny because well – his egg was tiny.  Grendel is a Golden Spangled Hamburg – and their eggs are significantly smaller than an Araucana’s (mine average 75-80g for Araucana eggs and 50-55g for Hamburg eggs) .  The result is that Bogey looks like a miniature little chicken.

Phil – trailing umbilical cord unseen

Following these three was Phil – named after Asajii’s uncle who was also born on Christmas Day.  Phil hatched from an Ancona egg and looks -very- much like an Ancona.  He’s still got a bit of his “umbilical cord” attached to his belly that he’s dragging around.  That’s fine.  He has no kind of hernia and we’re just waiting for it to dry up and finish snapping off.  That’s right – chickens have belly buttons – kind of.  The cord (I cannot, for the life of me, find the technical term of this structure) attaches the chick’s intestines to the yolk of the egg to provide nutrients.  While it is fundamentally different to a mammal’s umbilical cord – it is analogous to one.  Until I find the proper term, that’s what I’ll be calling it.

Clara Barton, still fluffing up a bit

Last up we have little, scraggly looking Clara Barton – named after the incredibly badass woman who started the Red Cross and was an unapologetic feminist who argued for women’s rights.  Sadly, she never lived to see her right to vote.

We lost several chicks mid-hatch due to unforeseen problems with this incubator – mostly that as soon as chicks began to hatch they ran all over the place and kicked the remaining eggs everywhere.  That resulted in several chicks drowning before they had a chance to hatch.  It’s unfortunate, but it’s the kind of thing that happens – especially with a new incubator.  We’re looking into possible solutions to this problem.  We tried using half an egg carton to support the eggs, but chicks were unable to properly unzip with the eggs in the cups and we lost one that way as well.

This is why I often tell the people who buy my eggs that hatching is always a learning experience.  You’re going to fail, with very tragic results.  It’s those failures which help you to improve.  It’s what you take away from them which makes you better. My next hatch in this incubator will be more successful – and the one after that will probably be even better.

I’ll be moving the babies to the brooder soon so they can get their first feed and water – and then I will start finding them new homes.

<3  Happy Birthday to Jesus, Isaac Newton, Humphrey Bogart, Phil, and Clara Barton – and to their amazing namesakes. <3

*NFI what “his” sex is.  Until they’ve gotten old enough to be properly sexed I refer to them interchangeably as “he” and “she” and it changes with the day and my mood.