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Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



I would like to ask everyone to please not threadshit. Show some love for the baby chickens, y’all.

Our annual hatch of baby chickens has begun! Every year we webcast the hatch, then place the camera in the brooder box for the next 8 weeks so you can see and hear 24/7 the chicks live, play and grow up.

We have two eggs, #10 & 11, pipping early! They may or may not hatch today, it's up to them. The pips are on the top of the egg, on the left side of each and may not be readily visible. Also, while the chicks inside the eggs are peeping, so are the two baby chicks, Alice and Pumpkin--so you may hear them. Actual hatch date SHOULD be Saturday the 29th, starting at 7AM, so this may be spread out over a day or so. Watch the hatch at the links below, one with chat—keep it PG rated, LOTS of kids (including mine) and teachers & very young kids in classrooms watch the hatch! We have zero tolerance for hate, really bad language (the occassional standard cuss word is OK, ie: ‘Holy poo poo that’s a big chick!’ or ‘drat, what’s taking so long?’ but nothing extreme), racism, etc. and will ban anyone not playing nice and being a decent human being. We try to answer questions both in this thread and in chat:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chickam2008

Or watch here, full screen, no chat—best for kids:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/chickam2008/pop-out

If you want more Chickam or chicken info, I’ve got a site here:
http://jackshenhouse.com/Chickam.htm

The incubator, our ReptiPro 6000 mini-frig style on the table, the brooder box where the chicks will live for the next 8 weeks taking up all my floor space:


Close-up of the eggs (photo by inveigle):



What the Hell is Chickam and where are the girls?!
Sometimes a chick is just a chick. As in years past, we are doing a web broadcast, with sound, of baby chickens hatching. After the hatch the cam will be placed in the brooder box where it will run 24/7 for the next 8 weeks so everyone can watch the chicks as they grow. If we have a hen go ‘broody’—that is, go into ‘mama’ mode—we may recruit one as mama to the chicks. Right now none of the hens are broody. At the end of 8 weeks the chicks will be old enough to be turned out into our existing flock where they will live. We have been talking to the eggs so they will know our voices when they hatch (yes this is weird, but it works).

READ THIS, YOU GOON, YOU, SO I DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER THE SAME QUESTIONS 900 TIMES IN THIS THREAD!


Why am I just seeing eggs, and what’s with the numbers?

***There are 7 eggs in the incubator for this hatch, with more eggs on the shelf above for the next ones. There should be a total of THREE hatches this year--one now, one Saturday April 5th and another Sunday April 13th.***
With this incubator we can do staggered hatches like this. The cam (and this thread) is started as soon as we see the eggs rocking back and forth, hear the chicks inside peeping or see eggs pipping. This means the hatch is imminent and the chicks are about to start coming out. Once they do, it’s kinda like watching popcorn pop—they tend to start slow, then everything happens at once, and after a while it tapers off. The numbers are so y’all can cheer on your favorite egg. We have a new camera! It is a Logitech c920. It has a MUCH better picture than the old one, plus the old one had been scratched up and ravaged by baby chicks over the years. So less eye strain, yay!

What’s taking so damned long?!
You’d take a while too if you were a newborn fighting your way out of a damned eggshell using only the tip of your face in cramped quarters. But seriously, here’s the process: The chick rotates into hatching position inside the shell, with it’s head at the large end of the egg. Then it ‘pips’, or pecks an airhole in the shell. Then it rests a bit as air now gets into the shell and helps the chick dry out and the blood vessels that have been keeping the chick alive in the shell ‘draw down’. Then the chicks starts to ‘unzip’ (my own term and not scientific at all) the shell, pecking as it turns in the shell and struggling/kicking/stretching as it goes. THIS TAKES HOURS. It’s a major struggle and exhausting for the chick, which will stop and rest from time to time. Usually anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight, but most are about 2 hours or so. When the chick gets the shell unzipped enough—about 2/3 of the way around—and does come out, it comes out all at once very quickly. There is no rushing the hatch, it takes as long as it takes. NO, I cannot help/poke it with a stick/shake it like a drat maraca. Only in extreme cases where we fear the chick will die otherwise do we ever assist a hatch. It has happened in the past, though.

I thought you weren’t supposed to open the incubator, AAGGGHHH!!
Calm down. This is a new incubator that is different than the tabletop styrofoam ones we used to use. This new one is a ReptiPro 6000, originally manufactured for the reptile hatching trade, but then the poultry folks got ahold of it. It’s basically a tabletop cabinet incubator and is also a mini-frig that can keep your beer cold when it isn’t hatching baby chickens. Because of the way it’s built, in order to have proper ventilation and allow O2 IN and CO2 OUT, you have to open the door. In our case, 5 times a day, which is also when I turn the eggs. Last year was the first year we’d done it and it was a big leap of faith for us, but other people had done it successfully and you can’t argue with success.

Ugh, they look slimey and hideous! Why are they bashing the other chicks & eggs?
Again, you weren’t exactly the Gerber baby and covered in chocolate and unicorn dreams when you first emerged, either. Rest assured they dry out, rest, get fluffy and cute and perk up after a few hours.

After the chicks dry out, get strong enough to stand and run around, we remove them to the brooder box where they will live for the next 8 weeks. After all the eggs have hatched we place the cam in the box so you can watch them. While still in the incubator, the hatched chicks tend to run around and rather brutally play soccer with the still-hatching eggs. This actually helps stimulate the hatching chicks into coming out, most likely to kick the rear end of whoever was kicking their damned egg. The older chicks will also trample the fresh chicks but they never hurt each other. It all looks pretty rough, though.

Why so few chicks?
Here at our new house in the northern Nevada High Sierras, we have higher altitude to contend with. We are at 5000 feet above sea level, and with that naturally comes less available O2 and lower air pressure. Plus we have a hideously dry climate. There is also a whole ‘nother thing with sea level chickens (ours are still considered such since they were hatched there) laying eggs with larger pores in the shell which makes for more moisture loss, which makes for a crappier hatch rate, yada yada. My research has revealed that it is MUCH harder to hatch eggs under these conditions, haha. That, combined with the fact that you are a HUMAN trying to do the work of a HEN further lowers the success rate. Hens make it look ohsoeasy and no doubt laugh at people trying to hatch eggs. We have the optimal setup we can get without buying a HUGELY expensive professional cabinet-style incubator. The hatch rate will likely be about 20%-60%.

Where’s their mama?
We are their mama. No mother hen is necessary, although if any of our hens go broody (go into ‘mama’ mode), in the next day or so we’ll bring her in and see if she’ll accept the chicks (most do accept them, broody hens LOVE chicks and watching a mama with her chicks is freakin’ adorable). Broody hens don’t give a rat’s rear end if those are their eggs or not, all they care about is OMG CHICKS. If a hen isn’t broody she’ll just run away from the chicks, and you can’t force a hen to go broody. If no mama hen, the chicks will bond to us and be much tamer pets.

What happens to the ones that don’t hatch?
There are about 900 things that can go wrong during the incubation and hatch. We keep the incubator running for three days beyond the hatch date to catch any stragglers, after that the unhatched eggs are removed. In order to learn what happened with the unhatched eggs I take them outside and crack them open to see how the chicks developed and look for problems that might explain what went wrong. This is messy and disgusting, yes—but also invaluable and necessary, it helps a LOT for future hatches.

ALSO—sometimes a chick will hatch but won’t live. Sometimes they will die days after hatch after you’ve named them and become attached to them. Mother Nature knows best and some congenital defects are fatal. We do the best we can but losses DO happen.

NAMING THE CHICKS!

List yer name choices here now! Nothing my kid can't say without getting her mouth washed out with soap or us called to the principal's office, and no names previously used. As they hatch, our 14 year old daughter will draw names out of a hat for each chick, so everyone’s name gets a fair shot. One name per Goon to keep it fair! You cannot assign a name to a specific egg #, sorry. If you post more than one name we’ll choose one to drop in the hat. I’ll update the egg # below with the name & hatch time.

What kind of chickens are these?
We have a small variety—this year with a weird twist. Our 12 year old Head Hen, Bear, suddenly came back into lay after not laying eggs for years, and Cam, our Americaunas mix roo, has become completely smitten with her. They have a real May/December romance going on. The 3 dark green eggs you see are Bear’s eggs, which we decided to try and hatch. Bear being so old, they may or may not hatch, we’ll see (hens normally fall out of lay between the age of 5-7 years old, normal life span for a chicken is around 7-9 years). The 3 large brown eggs are mystery eggs as far as parents go, and just for laughs there’s one little Belgian d’Uccle bantam egg. As they grow we’ll be able to better ID who is what. While we’ll have tiny and large chicks all together and various breeds, they should all get along just fine barring the occassional natural sibling dust-up.

Just like last year, we found that our cold winter had made big fluffy chickens butts REALLY fluffy…and our Giant Cochin roo, Weedcat, couldn’t…ah…seal the deal with the girls. Bloop the bantam d’Uccle roo didn’t have that problem, the banties not being fluffmonsters.

So just like last year, my daughter and I went out a few weeks ago with a pair of scissors and gave anyone with a big, fluffy hiney a butt haircut. We also shaved away their dignity while we were at it and got major stink eye from all of them. But one week later, viola! The eggs were all testing fertile!

The eggs incubate for 21 days, we turned the eggs by hand 5 times a day. The O and X registration marks are so we can easily tell which ones have been turned. Several times during the incubation cycle I candled the eggs (shined a bright light through them in a darkened room) and removed any that were duds and hadn’t developed. That’s why, if you notice a number missing, there are gaps in the numbers of the eggs left. The remaining eggs you see have chicks inside.

HATCH A--The eggs—If I know the breed/parents, it’s listed, otherwise wait & see:

#1—Dark Green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#2—Dark Green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#12—Dark Green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#3—Belgian d’Uccle bantam (Bloop the MilleFleur dad, mom unknown), pipped 3/28 at 9:30AM, hatched 3/28 at 2:45P named Mailbox by MisterOblivious Died 4/5
#5—Large Brown Egg, breed unknown, pipped 12:15PM 3/28, hatched 9PM 3/28, named Bad Mr. Frosty by Pessimism
#10-- Large Brown Egg, breed unknown, pipped 12AM 3/28, hatched 3/28 at 11:45AM, named Cattywampus by Cerebral Mayhem
#11-- Large Brown Egg, breed unknown, pipped 6AM 3/28, hatched at 7:15PM on 3/28, named NotASandwich by AtomikKrab

We also have two chicks already in the brooder box—one, a 1 week old Barred Rock named Alice, was a rescue from a local feed store, she was being pecked to death by the other chicks and we volunteered to take her. Well, one chick is a bad thing since chickens are flock animals, so we had to get a little buddy, Pumpkin, a 2 week old Danish brown Leghorn, for her. They are a bit older than our chicks but should all get along fine.
(photo by inveigle)



HATCH B--11 eggs, hatch date 4/5. No bantams in this batch.

#7--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#8--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#9--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#10--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#11--Light blue, Americaunas
#12--Light blue, Americaunas
#13--Light blue, Americaunas
#14--Light brown. Pipped 10PM 4/3, hatched at 10:30A, named Patches by McDragon
#15--Light brown. Pipped 4/3 at 4PM, hatched at 3AM 4/4, named Jellybean by ApathyGirl
#16--Light brown. Pipped 11AM 4/4, hatched 1PM 4/4 named Jerk by MrNonacho
#18--Medium brown--pipped at 7AM 4/4, hatched 3PM on 4/4, named Pie by Chicken Doodle

Hatch C--4 eggs from Bear, hatch date 4/13, none hatched. All infertile on breakout.

Hatch D, the final hatch for 2014--11 eggs. 3 Bantam Cochin, 4 dark green Bear eggs, 4 blue Americaunas eggs. Hatch date 4/22. In the picture below you can *just* see the pip on #11, the one behind the shot glass--the pip is on top and to the back left, the bumped-out spot.

#1--tiny, light brown bantam Cochin
#2--tiny, light brown bantam Cochin
#3--tiny, light brown bantam Cochin
#4--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#5--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#6--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#7--Dark green, Easter Egger (Bear)
#8--Light blue, Americaunas (Bug or Rose) Pipped 4/21 at 11:45AM, hatched at 5:30PM on 4/21, named Ratchet by Nevileen
#9--Light blue, Americaunas (Bug or Rose) Pipped 4/21 at 9:30AM, hatched on 4/21 at 3PM, named Ribbit by Fluffy Bunnies
#10--Light blue, Americaunas (Bug or Rose) Pipped 4/21 at 10AM, assisted hatch on 4/21 at 6:30PM, named Buzzard by Super Two
#11--Light blue, Americaunas (Bug or Rose) Pipped 4/21 at 6:30AM, hatched 4/21 at 12PM, named Cowbell by spookygonk

Also, here is a link to last year's thread if you want to see it: http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...40&pagenumber=1

Velvet Sparrow fucked around with this message at Apr 22, 2014 around 01:40

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de_dust
Jan 21, 2009

~fffff
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art~~


do you eat them or what

OMFG FURRY
Jul 10, 2006

[snarky comment]

placing bids on the males being turned into delicious home grown organic chicken nuggets

Beef Turret
Jul 9, 2009



why dont you get a real baby instead of a bunch of mindless surrogates

ALL-PRO SEXMAN
Nov 8, 2006

Veni, vidi, Lombardi.


butplug accident posted:

why dont you get a real baby instead of a bunch of mindless surrogates

real babies don't lay eggs

Fluffy Bunnies
Jan 9, 2009

Half Dog.
Half Horse.
All Awesome.



butplug accident posted:

why dont you get a real baby instead of a bunch of mindless surrogates

VS has already successfully reproduced. Her kid's pretty cool. She terrified the gently caress out of people a few halloweens ago.

ALL-PRO SEXMAN
Nov 8, 2006

Veni, vidi, Lombardi.


Am I allowed to ask chicken questions in this thread?

AtomikKrab
Jul 17, 2010

Keep on GOP rolling rolling rolling rolling.


ALL-PRO SEXMAN posted:

Am I allowed to ask chicken questions in this thread?

I Don't think VS will have a problem with that, Also CHICKENS

Spanish Manlove
Aug 31, 2008

LAMIERDAROJA



lame

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



Ask any chicken questions you like!

No, we don't eat our birds, but when I was a kid we raised chickens for table so I learned how to slaughter and process them. Home-grown chicken tastes incredible, by the way. These days we just keep our birds for eggs and as pets.

ALL-PRO SEXMAN
Nov 8, 2006

Veni, vidi, Lombardi.


AtomikKrab posted:

I Don't think VS will have a problem with that, Also CHICKENS

Yeah but I remember another poster who got probated for asking chicken questions in a chicken thread.

Beef Turret
Jul 9, 2009



a chick looks like a deadeyed insect with feathers to me. even hamsters and cats are more interesting. did you get them because they look like tiny chocobos, op?

tomstuart
Aug 1, 2006

First we make sex, create. . . babies. And then, yes, and then . . . we eat.


this therad blow goats also is a repate voted 1

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



I think chicken are more like velicoraptors, myself. I got me a yard full of dinosaurs.

Spanish Manlove
Aug 31, 2008

LAMIERDAROJA



ALL-PRO SEXMAN posted:

Yeah but I remember another poster who got probated for asking chicken questions in a chicken thread.

You're not allowed to ask questions about chickens in a thread about chickens.

de_dust
Jan 21, 2009

~fffff
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art~~


Velvet Sparrow posted:

I think chicken are more like velicoraptors, myself. I got me a yard full of dinosaurs.

proof of concept
Mar 6, 2005



ALL-PRO SEXMAN posted:

Yeah but I remember another poster who got probated for asking chicken questions in a chicken thread.

just do it. what are you, chicken?

OMFG FURRY
Jul 10, 2006

[snarky comment]

How do you deal with hawks who eye your chickens daily, waiting for that one day when you forget to close the chicken coop?

Tortuga
Aug 27, 2011


Do you kill the male chicks by gassing or chucking them straight in a mincer, or do you just stomp 'em since you're a smalltime operation?

de_dust
Jan 21, 2009

~fffff
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art~~


is there a chicken version of veal?

OMFG FURRY
Jul 10, 2006

[snarky comment]

mcnuggets

de_dust
Jan 21, 2009

~fffff
ffffffffffffffffffffff
ffffffffffffffffffffff
ffffffffffffffffff
art~~


heh. you made me heh

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



We have a shitload of hawks up here, especially Red Tails. Right now our flock is securely housed in an enclosed run so there is zero chance of predation of any sort--we also have coyotes and things like racoons and skunks to worry about.

Beef Turret
Jul 9, 2009



we have sam sites and pillboxes ready to blow any would-be predator out of the sky

Wendigee
Jul 19, 2004



Are chickens like crocodiles and you can control the sex via incubator temp or do you just put the males in a sack and toss em in the lake?

Tortuga
Aug 27, 2011


Those eggs aren't hatching. I don't think you can just buy a box of eggs from the store and expect them to turn into chickens just because you've made up a backstory for each of them.

Cesar Cedeno
May 9, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 4047 days!


So we all agree that he deepfries them and eats them once they hatch right?

Do we get to see that part live? If so, I'll bookmark this.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



^^^Dude, I'm not a dude, dude.

As far as I know, some studies say that the hen can somewhat control the sex of the chick at the time the egg is created, but I don't know how true that is. Other than that I don't know of any way to control the gender of unhatched chicks.

As far as extra birds, male or female, we rehome any we don't keep.

Hey, if I was making up a backstory on eggs it'd be one Hell of a lot more weird and involve time travel from the dinosaur age. I do know of a person who bought fertile eggs at Trader Joe's, took them home and successfully incubated and hatched them, though.

Velvet Sparrow fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2014 around 15:48

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



Pobama posted:

So we all agree that he deepfries them and eats them once they hatch right?

Please stop talking about fried chicken! You're making us all hungry!

Also....just wait. After the chicks hatch, one of their very first meals will be SCRAMBLED EGGS! Seriously! The new chicks will EAT THEIR OWN KIND!

OMFG FURRY
Jul 10, 2006

[snarky comment]

Velvet Sparrow posted:

Hey, if I was making up a backstory on eggs it'd be one Hell of a lot more weird and involve time travel from the dinosaur age. I do know of a person who bought fertile eggs at Trader Joe's, took them home and successfully incubated and hatched them, though.

whoa thats a good idea

Cesar Cedeno
May 9, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 4047 days!


Inveigle posted:

Please stop talking about fried chicken! You're making us all hungry!

Also....just wait. After the chicks hatch, one of their very first meals will be SCRAMBLED EGGS! Seriously! The new chicks will EAT THEIR OWN KIND!

Birds in general are cruel, dumb as a post, lovely little fuckers, so that would not shock me one bit.

Woould watch that though.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



Also, chickens love chicken.

rcman50166
Mar 23, 2010

by XyloJW


mailbox, name one mailbox. chickens arent supposed to have people names

Inveigle
Jan 19, 2004



EVERYONE loves chicken! It's delicious!

12_String
Feb 28, 2007

Broccoli is brain food.

rcman50166 posted:

mailbox, name one mailbox. chickens arent supposed to have people names


Since most of the chickens were named by goons, you can guess there aren't a lot of chickens with people names in our coop.

Tortuga
Aug 27, 2011


Velvet Sparrow posted:

As far as extra birds, male or female, we rehome any we don't keep.

Really? Is it easy to get people to take your cocks?



Inveigle posted:

EVERYONE loves chicken! It's delicious!

inappropriate

rcman50166
Mar 23, 2010

by XyloJW


12_String posted:

Since most of the chickens were named by goons, you can guess there aren't a lot of chickens with people names in our coop.

i impulsively read "coop" as the abbreviation for cooperation.

Velvet Sparrow
May 15, 2006

'Hope' is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul, and sings the tune, without the words, and never stops--at all.



Also, this is Bear, the shameless 12 year old fossil that is laying the dark green eggs:




Her 1 year old boyfriend, Cam (originally named Camilla):






VVVV Hey, the joint is littered with chickens.

Velvet Sparrow fucked around with this message at Mar 28, 2014 around 16:16

Cesar Cedeno
May 9, 2011
Probation
Can't post for 4047 days!


Bill collectors calling again because this is what you do all day instead of having a job...

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MisterOblivious
Mar 17, 2010


Tortuga posted:

Really? Is it easy to get people to take your cocks?


They rehomed this monster cock

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