A while ago ( about a month) I lent my incubator to the primary school so that they could hatch some eggs into chicks (!) .I did have a few sleepless nights when I prayed fervently that the eggs would hatch , and a few nightmares when nothing did and I had 200+ upset children to deal with , but last week the chicks began to hatch.
On the monday night the first egg'pipped' and by Tues morning we had 2 chicks - sadly one died almost immediately - but Tues and Wed were a hive of activity in the incubator and a source of fascination for children and staff alike .By Thurs we had 10 chicks and the final two hatched early on Thursday. Thank god we had 12 chicks . We had put 18 into the incubator , 4 were infertile , 1 died at birth and 1 never made it out of the egg , but on the whole I am pretty pleased with 12.
The children and parents have been a source of amusement for me and my children . I forget that , despite living in a rural area, many do not have the slightest idea how hens are made ; the parents have been as amazed as the children and the best question ( worst) was from an adult who asked what the chicks would be when they grew up ! hens ?! my reply was that yes they would be hens , or maybe roosters , the parent said ' thats fine with the yellow chicks , but what will the black chicks be ?' ' Hens '. the light began to dawn- ' do you mean that all chicks aren't yellow'? I suggested that different breeds might be different colours like dogs are different shapes and sizes ......
We have to choose 3 chicks for the school to rear and keep in their hen house ( not yet built) , luckily we put 3 different types of hens' eggs in , and will hopefully have 3 different coloured hens . There are 2 yellow chicks ( white hens) 3 stripey chicks ( legbar crosses) and 7 black chicks ( barnevelder crosses) - so fingers crossed.