Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chick Chick Here, Chick Chick There, Everywhere a Chick Chick!!

A cheery hello to you all!
Last month we had 5 chicks hatch. This is the second time we've had a broody hen, and she started out sitting on 4 eggs. A week later, I added a 5th egg. Three eggs hatched on June 18th, and the fourth one hatched on Father's Day, June 19th. A couple days later, Momma Hen moved around with the chicks, leaving the nest and single egg. We brought it inside and put it under a light for warmth. As it got closer to the time for the egg to hatch, we could feel the chick moving around inside the egg, and even heard it peeping, which was really neat.
The chick made a small pip in the air sack on June 26th, which was the day it was supposed to hatch. You may ask, what is an air sack? Well I'm glad you asked!

The head of the chick develops at the large end of the egg. Between the 15th and 16th days, the chick potions itself so that its head is near the air cell at the large end of the egg. Not long before the chick is ready to attempt to make its way out of the shell, its neck acquires a double bend so that its beak is under its right wing and pointed toward the air cell. About the 19th day the chick thrusts its head forward. Its beak quickly breaks through the inner shell membrane, and the chick's lungs begin to function. Complete breathing by the lungs usually does not occur until the 20th day of incubation.
The air sack is a pocket between the egg white and shell at the larger end of the egg. When an egg is newly laid, it has either no air cell or a very small one. As the egg cools, the liquid contents contract more than the shell and the inner shell membrane separates from the outer shell membrane to form the air cell. As the egg ages, moisture and carbon dioxide leave through the pores of the shell, and air enters to replace them, causing the air cell to become larger. When a chick is about to hatch, it pips through the air sack first so it can breathe.  Using its egg tooth (a tiny, sharp, horny projection on the end of its beak), the chick pecks at the shell thousands of times. (The egg tooth will disappear after a few days, as the chick doesn't need it anymore.) Finally, the young bird chips its way through the shell and begins to breathe air directly from the outside. After the chick has made a hole in the shell, it stops pipping for three to eight hours and rests. During this time, it is acclimating its lungs to the outside atmosphere. After the resting stage is completed, the second stage of pipping begins. The chicks starts to turn slowly inside the egg. As it turns, usually counter-clockwise, the chick uses its egg tooth to chip the shell away. In two to five hours, the chick has made about three quarters of a turn inside the egg. The chick then works at chipping away the egg cap. When the wet chick is completely freed from the shell, it lies still for a few minutes, as it's extremely tired. The chick slowly gains strength, though it takes a couple of days for it to be completely stable.

Two days later, on June 28th at around 3:30 am., the chick hatched. We brought another chick (who was not doing very well) inside to be with the newly hatched chick, and both of them are now doing wonderful. Sadly, one chick died on the 22nd as a result of not getting enough water and maybe too much calcium from the mother's food. When a chick hatches, it needs to drink as much water as it can. The placenta provides it with enough food for 1-2 days, so the chick doesn't need to eat right after it hatches, but it needs plenty of water. Now I know you all are wanting to see pictures of the adorable chicks, so without further ado, here they are! 
 This is the first of three chicks that hatched on July 18th.
Fourth chick starting to pip away at the shell on June 19th.


Mother Hen taking a sand bath.
Sand /dust baths are important to all chickens because it kills the parasites,
like fleas and mites. Dust clogs the breathing pores of the parasites, and
therefore kills them.
New chicks need a lot of sleep. 

Here's a video I took July 5th of the oldest chick taking a sand bath.
The video below was taken on July 9th.

 By the time we woke up to see the chick hatching, it was already
halfway out of its shell.

Tired, little chick resting after hatching.

 Here's a few updated pictures, taken July 9th.

 The chick we hatched inside has resorted to following us around.
It's so adorable!!! Watch the video below.  
If you are viewing this post on your email, and the videos don't load, click here to watch them.
I hope you all have a good and godly day!
Walk with the King, and be a blessing. :)
Love in Christ,
2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.


  1. Oh, how sweet! They are so cute! Thanks for sharing, Ashley. :)

  2. Oh, dear Ashley! How I enjoyed your post...what adorable pictures of the wee chicks! It makes me wish our hens would go broody again...for some reason they haven't. I love keeping chickens...and the chicks are my favourite part! {{smiles}}
    You took some wonderful photographs of the process and I loved how you explained it all... Thank you for sharing!
    We just got a milk cow and oh! Her calf is the sweetest thing...we named him Olly as the mother's name is Molly. I got to milk her this evening which was a joy indeed ~ I don't think I could ever tire of watching the steaming milk fill the pail! {{smiles}}
    Have a wonderful week ahead, Ashley! Hugs to you!

  3. Thank you Ashley for the beautiful pictures of your chicks :) and your scientific article was most informative :)
    Mrs. Gasser

  4. This all sounds familiar! We had a broody hen recently, too, the eggs of which were due to hatch about the same as yours did. Unfortunately, they didn't survive. We had three hens that were broody, and one female duck also broody. And all of them were sharing the same nest--switching off sitting on the pile of eggs. We found two eggs, one of which the chick was fully hatched, but still wet, and the other chick partly hatched, dead outside the nest. We had just read that to be the experience of a person with a duck trying to hatch a nest of chicken eggs, but we nor they, know how the chicks died. We took a hen and put her on the nest, but the eggs kept disappearing or we found them broke open and empty. We took the remaining 5 eggs, a broody hen, and put them in a box in our sunroom. We threw two eggs away, because they were cracked with nothing in them, and then a third one was rotten and exploded. We moved the hen outside, and that same day she died. So we gave up and threw the last three eggs away. We didn't even know when they were supposed to hatch because the eggs were laid at different times, and nothing was successful, so we gave up. Before I tossed them, I put them in a bag and broke them open. Unfortunately, all three eggs were fertilized! That was a bummer :( (Not that they were fertilized and growing, but that we gave up too soon when they would've hatched, hopefully). We hope to try again when we get a chance.
    But...we have had ducklings hatch! See my post on them here:

    Great pictures by the way! They are really cute :) That second one, especially with the chick squished between the hens :)

    Great post, too! I like how you explained the process.

  5. P.S. Your hens are pretty, too :) I like the cream color on them.

  6. Oh, and last thing: Our duck, Nibbles, the momma of the ducklings I talked about in my blog post if you see it, used to run around the house with us, too! It was so fun. She grew up in the house for a few months before she moved outside, and she would skitter after us if we ran past her :) Are you raising your chick inside, or did you move it outside right away?

    1. Jewel,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I enjoyed reading it. :)
      We raised the babies for a couple weeks inside the house, and last week we put them outside in the coop.
      We had two hens sitting on one nest as well...she was not very happy when we took the chicks away from her. (But she was pecking them!)
      Awwww. Nibbles is such a cute name. I love baby ducklings. :)

      Love in Christ,


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