Just to share with you where I purchased my Silkie eggs. They came from eBay and the sellers ID is andy13582001 The eggs come individually bubble wrapped, the placed in an egg box, bubble wrapped again and posted out. Andy really cares about his eggs and Silkies and communicates well with his Buyers. I have posted my recommendation of Andy’s‘ eggs on various Poultry sites. Thanks again for the lovely eggs Andy. Pookie, Onion and Obama are currently in the Brooder all snuggled up together. I Love My Chickens ;0)
Obama is born. The name could not have been more apt as we were unsure if the egg was still viable when we candled on Day 18. We decided to keep the egg in the incubator in the hope of a hatch. Day 21 came and I picked up the egg for a brief look as it had not peeped, however I did hear a methodical tap, tapping indicating the chicks’ egg tooth was doing its job. Egg # 1 was placed back in the incubator. Those that have been following the blog will know that Egg # 1 had started to pip on the morning of 02/09/10. At this time Onion, previously known as Egg # 5 was fluffing up its feathers and findings its feet in the incubator. Prior to joining Pookie in the brooder, she would regularly wobble over to the ‘yet to hatched’ Obama and throw her body over the egg and cheep encouragement at it.
I am pleased to say that Duane managed to make it home, photograph and watch the birth of Egg # 1 later that day. This chick knew how to zip the egg. I was contemplating calling the chick Zippy after the excellent job that had been done on the egg. The shell had been methodically chipped all around the egg. After a few big pushes a foot popped out. Those that know of Silkies, will be aware that they have five toes on their feet as well as feathers on the outer toe. Their skin is also black. Another big push saw the emergence of a cute, beaked face with a winking eye. Seconds later at 17.55, after a determined push the egg fully opened and the chick was displayed in all its glory. It was a splendid black feather chick, immediately Duane said “Obama, our first black feathered chick”.
Duane will be uploading the photographs of this event in the next couple of days. Obama very quickly found its feet and was weebling (I think I have invented that word) around the incubator like a penguin. Barry, Katie and Heidi arrived shortly after Obama’s birth, Heidi said ‘Oh cute chicks’. and had a quick hold of Onion and Pookie. Jack, Emily & Annabelle had their cuddles with the chicks earlier in the afternoon, having waited patiently since the chicks were born to see them. They were in awe of them and are eager to meet Obama, as is Rachelle.
Obama did not take long in making sure his feathers were dry, fluffed and dry and was able to walk. He joined Onion and Pookie in the brooder just before midnight. As you can see from the photograph, he has quickly adapted to a new environment. Duane introduced him to water by placing a drop on his finger and tilted the water droplet towards Obama who quickly drunk it. You have to teach chicks to drink and the usual method is to dip their beak into the water frequently for the first few days (hence me needing to take leave from work to make sure the chicks were safe and sorted). I have just had a look in the brooder and Obama is snuggled up under Pookie and Onion has her head resting on the Monkey Mum that I placed in the Brooder. Well done and welcome to the world Obama, you know how to get the job done without having to ‘showboat’.
I have marked and set the new mixed 12 eggs in the incubator and have also left in Egg # 4 from this hatch in case it is a late hatch. I did candle it today, there is an egg sac and the characteristic dark shape, however there is no tapping or signs of a pip. I will keep you updated. I Love my Chickens :o)
We now have a name for Egg # 3. No, it will not be ‘Nugget’ as hoped for by some of the MK Glorious PPU –N Unit. Her name is Pookie. The story behind the name goes back a few years when we bought home a lovely fluff ball looking kitten from Leicester. Duane had gone to help his brother Darren with some work and when he returned I had purchased Aduellia Moonstone, a Seal Point Persian Kitten. Duane was smitten with the kitten and home she came. On the journey home I sensed she was becoming restless and asked Duane to pull over. We were on the Weedon road near the land mark listed Express Lift Tower building Northamptonshire. Too late, she done the most gigantic wee all over my white trousers. I never knew a little cat had such an enormous bladder.
To cut a long story short, I was asleep in bed with Aduellia Moonstone apparently snuggled under my chest and chin. Duane said he looked at us and thought we looked adorable so decided to take a photograph of us. What he did not take into account was the potential response of Aduellia Moonstone. I awoke with a start and the sensation of being pebble dashed with hot, sticky, smelly liquid. Yes, you have guessed right, the kitten had been so startled by the flashlight and noise of the camera, she projectile poo’d all over my face, hair and chest. Well actually it was diarrhoea; I could not speak and only stutter a few explicatives. Duane, went from a state of shock to near hysterical laughter. From that moment onwards Aduellia Moonstone was called Pookie. We do have the photo of this unforgettable event.
Enough digressing, back to the reason for Chick # 3 name. We made a decision to move Chick # 3 to the Brooder to ensure Chick # 5 had a better chance of survival; she had dried and fluffed up lovely. This was we thought a good photo opportunity. At this time chick # 3 was again on my chest and walking up towards my neck to nuzzle. I really think it may have been helpful if Duane had said ‘Watch the birdie’ no really ‘Watch the birdie’ because it was at the moment the flash went off, I felt a trickle of liquid make its way down my decoulage (Chest, cleverage or boobs for the less well informed) I thought she had done a big wee, however as it was mint green and she was a chick not an alien, we established it must be poo. Duane immediately said amid his laughter, “That’s it, her name, it has to be Pookie” I could not agree more, so Egg # 3 became Pookie.
The egg arrived today and were packed very safely, Than you Jill AKN by the seller name basterinscarsterin on E-Bay
I have a selection of eggs. 3 x Jersey Giants. These are the largest chickens in the world, very docile and gentle by nature. 2 Buff Orpington lovely stocky birds, they also have a gentle nature, 4 x Rhode Island Red Cross Araucana , they lay, blue green eggs. The other 3 are pot luck and may be any of the following: Gold Brahma Orpington, Barnvelder Cream Legbar, Wellsummer or Maran. It will be exciting to wait and see. I am resting the eggs to bring them up to room temperature today, they will go in the incubator tomorrow for 21 day and be candled at 5, 10 and 18 days, so watch this space. I love my Eggs, Peeps and Chickens :o)
As expected, Rachellé was as excited about the hatching as me. we thought it would be a good idea for her to talk to the peep via the telephone. The picture is not to clear, you should be able to see the peep pecking through (it is nearest the telephone). Annabell, one of our Granddaughters has just viewed the blog so will no doubt be paying a visit with Emily and Jack.
The peep responds to noises. Egg#5 has done nothing for the past five hours, it may well be a rooster. I am going to have to step away to give the eggs some piece and quiet and admire my new eggs that have just come through the post by Special Delivery. I love my chickens and my peeps :o)
Egg# 3 and 5 Peeping
This is taken on my iphone so not to clear. Egg# 3 is on the left hand side and is peeping at the top. Egg # 5 is the half of an egg that you see at the bottom of the photograph and the crack is just visible near where it is touching the other egg. Clearer photos will follow. I love my chickens :o)
I think I was in a deep sleep when I woke with a start, sat bolt upright and had a myriad of thoughts going through my head. I checked the clock, it was 02.25. I sat on the edge of the bed sorting the thoughts bouncing all over the place in my head, into some semblance of order.
The phone had not rung, so no known family emergency, the house and garden were quiet so unlikely to be a fox after the chicks or a burglar in the house. Oh my goodness it must be the chicks peeping.
I swiftly left the bedroom and hurried to our den with adrenalin trying to rush through my protesting body. I looked into the incubator, hoping, although not expecting to see a crack in one or more eggs, as this was Day21, the due hatch day.
There it was, Egg # 5 with a definite crack. I peeped and tapped on the side to say ‘Well done’ and further motivate the chick to hatch. Both Duane and I had said ‘Goodnight’ and other words of encouragement as well as made peeping noises at the eggs less than 90 minutes previously. Duane definitely does better chick peeps and chicken talk than me. Egg # 5 is at the one furthest away in the corner, and the crack is near where it is nearly touching the adjacent egg
I then had to make a decision, do I wake Duane at the early point of potential hatch, or let him sleep and wake him when the chick has manged to break through the shell completely. It was a quick decision, the hard bit for me was waking him up gently rather than dashing back in whooping with joy that Egg # 5 had started to peep. I managed to wake Duane as sensitively as I could given the circumstances. I explained that it was only a small crack and that I would take some photos, keep him updated and wake him when the shell had been cracked most of the way. He gave a smile and wished them luck.
I am sitting here pondering the wondrous of birth whilst I wait for the chick to take some rest and then hopefully continue the job of trying to be born. Like any birth, be it a bulb breaking through the earth to bloom, or a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, it is a complex process. With the chicks, they grow within the egg and develop key structures at different stages. I won’t bore you with the details as they are much the same for any creature. However with the chicken, if the humidity and heat are right, by day 18 onwards its embryo should have filled three quarters of its shell. It also would have developed an egg tooth, yes you heard it right, they have an egg tooth for the prime purpose of breaking open the shell.
The clever chick positions itself at a peculiar angle and jerks its body to break through the membrane and into the the air sac. This is when it takes a rest and its body adjusts to breathing. If the incubator is to humid, the chick ( s it has breathed it can be called a chick) is likely to drown in its own fluids, if it is to dry the embryo or chick sticks to shell and dies. Once it is through the air sac and has rested, it starts the mammoth task of chipping away at its shell to join the world. I guess you could liken this to the first and second stage stage of human labour. The process can happen very quickly or take hours.
I have just added some body temperature water to ensure # 5 Chickie has optimum humidity and chance of survival and have taken some photos. E-mails have been sent to share my excitement and make use of my waiting time. As expected, Barry (son) was still up and responded with enthusiasm, he predicts the chick will be a boy. I think you can tell with Silkies by sexing the feathers on the first day only. So I will be looking at the pin feathers, if they are all one length then it will likely be a rooster, if they are two different lengths then it is likely to be a pullet. (Do not google feather sexing Silkies) I am counting the hours until I can ring the Grandchildren up and tell them that # 5 has started to peep.
I am wondering if animals have the same tendency to die in the early hours of the morning much the same as humans. My mind is thinking that would be a great piece of research to read or for somebody to do, if the reasons can be identified. The low staffing issues in hospital is giving as a prime reason, and although that is plausible it does not account for the natural deaths within the same given time scale. Life and death are so extrinsically linked, and is the one certainty we have. I am starting to ramble now so I will sign of, as it is now 04.15 and will keep you all posted.
I spoke to soon, I have just checked the Chicks/eggs and Egg # 3 is now pipping. I love my Chickens :o)
This is also one of their favorite places to sit and wait until the rain stops. The garden has a few shelters, including their coop for them to sit in if it raining, however it would appear that they love being outside in the rain as much as Duane and I.
Ken has been off laying for the past six + weeks, prior to that she was laying soft shell eggs. They looked like something from an alien film. I thought it was likely that she had reached the end of her laying days and was going to enjoy the rest of her days foraging, sunbathing and dust bathing.
This may not be the case now, as we noticed for the past couple of days she had been sitting on the nest, then yesterday she produced a soft egg. Picture will be uploaded soon. Well done Ken, we would not have minded if you never laid again, we just love hearing your ‘cluck of delight’ when you do lay. I think she may have been having a moult, it was hard to tell as she was also growing her feathers back after being rescued from the Battery farm by Linda & Robert from the http://www.freeatlast.org/ If you have not had chance to read about Freebie, the extraordinary rescue hen, I urge you to do so. As my Mum would say. it will warm the cockles of your heart. I have still not worked out where the cockles of my heart are. It would seem that the extra calcium and cod liver oil supplements may have helped her, coupled with the odd tipple of Cider vinegar.
Ken is a very gentle chicken, after n’ ‘Tucky died, Henrietta, decided she was ‘head hen’, and went from being the least assertive to Ms Bossy Boots. Ken will stand up to her if he needs to. He has been known to stick up for Barbie Q and Bruno, he will peck back at Henrietta, is she is having a peck at the babies. I must replace Ken’s ring, I had to take it off in a hurry when she managed to get it caught in the stake the keeps the eglu door open, imagine flapping chicken pinned by the leg and me frantically trying to calm and free her.
Ken does like to rest a lot, and given the life she had in the factory it is nice to see her do so. Duane rang me the other day to say he had left the kitchen door open whilst making the coop, and realised Ken was no longer with Henrietta supervising the build. He saw the kitchen door was open and made his way swiftly to the kitchen. As he walked in he noticed the door to the dining area and lounge was open and feared the worse. However what he was met with was Ken, sitting asleep in the middle of the kitchen floor. Ken just opened and eye and returned to sleeping. We love our chickens ;o)