Sunday, August 25, 2013

Half Way There!

Today is day 11 of the hatch, meaning we are half way there! Mom is doing well, I moved her off the nest today to eat some watermelon and she also ate some of her regular food. But here is what the eggs have been up to:

Days 7-9 (Candle on Day 9) -Abdomen more defined
              - Feathers (down) start to form
              - Mouth appears to open and close
              - Embryo begins to look like a chick

Days 10-12 -Bones and beak begin to harden
              - Skin pores visible
              - Eyelids cover eye
              - Down feathers visible

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 8

The nest had began to smell from the egg that broke so this evening while I had the hen off to eat and drink I changed the bedding. I checked the eggs over as I did so (I've given up on candling, the eggs are too dark and the flashlight too weak) and discovered at some point their had been another green egg that had broken and the remains of the shell had gone over the shell of another egg, which had to be peeled off. The other 17 eggs look okay, but we shall see after having two eggs break on them...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Day 6

I have a booklet that I got in 6th grade as part of our class hatch. It covers a lot of the chicken reproduction basics and also gives a day by day summery of what the egg is doing during development with drawn pictures of some days. This book and the class hatch where what started me on the road to getting chickens.

As it summarizes (Days 1-6):
Day 1: -Germinal spot grows and cells begin to split into specific types of cells
Day 2: -Blood Vessels show on the yolk
           - Start of yolk sac
Day 3-Candle this day:
         -Question mark-shaped embryo viable (I have a horrible time seeing this)
         -Blood vessels on yolk sac defined
         - Can see heart beating
         - Amnion is complete
         - Brain and head visible

Day 4- Candle this day:
          -Eye(looks like a black spot) becomes visible
          -Organs formed
Day 5:- Reproductive organs form
          - Sex of embryo known
Day 6- Candle this day
         - All parts are present
         - Amnion evident (clear fluid sac for exercise and protection)
         -Chick rocks and rolls for the first time (voluntary movement)

 Today is day 6 for the eggs, but with the eggs the hen is sitting on their color makes them hard to candle. At the moment she is sitting on 16 of her own eggs (green) and 1 of the CM's eggs (brown). It appears that earlier then or on day 4 she broke the other CM egg. She has been off the nest to poop, drink, and eat. But on the night of day 4 when I disturbed her she had a watery poop on the eggs. Which isn't good for them as it can introduce bacteria and kill the embryos. But we will see how the hatch goes and what kind of mother she is, so fingers crossed!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 3

Last Wednesday the BA/EE hen began sitting on her nest of eggs. She has at least 16 of her own eggs and 2 of the cuckoo maran's eggs. I'm really hoping that the CM's eggs hatch and are girls as she is my oldest hen and still laying well.

Today makes today the 3rd of 21 days! the eggs at this point should have veining but not much else viable. At the moment I'm afraid to move the her to candle the eggs or move her to make sure that she poops, drinks, and eats. Last time she set (last year) I reached under her and she abandoned the nest (day one or so) . But she needs to at least poop and drink and there is cases of hens staying on the nest until they die, so I'm going to try getting her off the nest tomorrow. I left water in the area next to her so if she gets up she will have something to drink. But here is to hoping that in 18 days there will be lots of babies!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Just Realized...

..I never posted about Rudolph! Back in June you may remember me posting about a little stray kitten and I started a post about him after that and it never really went anywher. It is a he and his name is Rudolph (don't ask me why it just popped into my head and stuck). I got all the mats off of him and his coat is growing in nicely. He loves Nick and is slowly warming up to the other cats, Butterscotch is getting better with him but still randomly goes after him. But he loves attention now and has gotten use to the strangeness of the house.
You can see on the side where the mats where cut out, his fur is a little bit longer now.

Back from Fairs and Vacation

I've spent the last almost 3 weeks at 2 fairs and then on a family vacation. My sleep schedule is very messed up and I of course couldn't sleep this morning. But I spent the two fairs helping my family do temporary tattoos and face painting, which is interesting but at times you question how the human race has lasted this long. The vacation was fun we did a family trip with my dad's side of the family down by the Chesapeake bay in a rental house. The first day we went to Colonial Williamsburg, then half of us went to Kings Dominion, and on our last day (for us, the rest of the family was staying but we had to leave due to my step-grandmother having eye surgery) we played in the inlet of the bay we where by.

At the first fair(which was close to home) I had friends win me a new goldfish. My mom had to take it home with her and get it settled in without me. She/he is a mix of white and orange and is doing well with my other goldfish. One of my friends who won it asked me if she could name it I said sure and after my mom said it had to be a reindeer name (to go with the reindeer theme started by Rudolph) it's name is Vixen.  

So it was fun, but stressful for me being away from the animals. My mom was caring for them but she isn't very good with the chickens. Something got the smallest brown leghorn pullet the first week I was gone and the second week I was gone something got the smallest brown leghorn rooster. Everyone else is fine and the cross breed bantam hen even started laying (creamy colored eggs, I'll get a picture soon). But when I got home and was checking everyone out I couldn't find the BA/EE hen, but mom told me she had seen her that morning. So I went looking for her with a sneaking suspicion I knew what she was up to and I was right. I went in the old coop to find her on a nest of eggs she had been hiding. She has 13 eggs and isn't brooding yet but probably will at any moment. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to let her sit on them but if I do I'm going to have to rig something to keep her safe in the old coop.

I also went to check on my garden yesterday which has been badly neglected but has had lots of growth. I got part way in looking at the new green tomatoes and trying to get back farther to look at the vines to see if anything was growing. When suddenly I felt something sting my left ankle which I quickly shook off, but at the same time something wrapped its around my right pinky and begin stinging me and would not let go. After some very hard shaking, screaming, and a few words that will not be repeated here I got it off and got out of the garden. My friend who was with me at the time said it appeared to be hornets and that they where coming out of the wooden thing I was by (my halfway done abandoned attempt at a composter). We went inside and put ice on the stings. And when the ice melted, I applied some baking soda paste. My finger swelled up to the point it couldn't move, then got better last night and is worse this morning, swelling again and painful. My leg on the other hand (ha ha) is just a little bit red and sore if touched. I'm going to have to spray the hornets to kill them but I think I'm going to wait until the swelling is gone from my finger first.

But as far as the garden goes it looks good (if a mess). I need to harvest potatoes. The volunteer multihead sunflowers are blooming. The vining plants (pumpkins, squash, gourds) are in blooming and I think I saw a small start of a fruit on one but I really didn't get to check due to the hornets. But I did see a fair number of green tomatoes.

I do try to keep this updated but live gets busy and sometimes I don't feel like putting effort into stuff. But I do want to say feel free to comment and talk to me I don't always answer right away but I will always try to answer any questions and comments.