hatching day

We decided to let a broody hen raise one last clutch of chicks for the year. She sat on the eggs faithfully every day for 3 weeks. For some reason, on the day that the eggs started to hatch, the mama hen decided she no longer wanted to care for the eggs or chicks. I found one chick partially out of the egg, but dead and the others that had pipped were growing cold as the hen would not stay on them. We borrowed an incubator from friends and took the remaining 8 eggs into the house. There were 6 chicken eggs and 2 guinea eggs (which take a week longer to incubate). Over the course of the next 2 days, 5 chicks hatched successfully. One of the chicken eggs and both the guinea eggs proved to be infertile.

day old balls of fluff

The 5 little ones are doing very well – no signs of any illness or pasty butts. I didn’t really plan on having more chicks in the house – it gets to be too messy as they grow and send a lot of dust flying around. We’ve never had a hen that didn’t want to care of her chicks before. The good thing is these chicks will grow up to be very friendly as they get a lot of attention being in the house. They are just so darn cute it’s hard to resist playing with them! It is just amazing to watch how quickly they grow and develop. Here they are just a week after hatching – already getting big and strong and with good sized wings!

already a week old