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Part 1:

Interesting stuff has happened. First off we had 11 chicks hatch. WOOT! Out of the original 18 eggs, 3 were either not fertile or died in the first week. Since I can not really count those 3 in my results, I’m going to adjust my numbers a bit. Oh hush, you’d do it too.

  1. Set 1: 4 hatched, 1 failed
  2. Set 2: 3 hatched, 2 failed
  3. Set 3: 4 hatched, 1 failed

So, out of 15 eggs we had 11 hatch. That’s a 73.3% hatch rate. Still not awesome, but way better than I have been doing.

It appears that my problem was in controlling the humidity. Mainly, getting the humidity high enough so that the eggs did not dry out and kill the chicks. It is so dry here that I was having trouble getting the humidity to the 40% recommended for “DRY” incubation.

Part 2:

We had an interesting development with some of the chicks. Some were showing signs of being Splay Legged fresh out of the egg. Luckily it was only one leg being wonky.

I was not about to give up on these little guys before they really had a chance to get going. So, I found an article explaining how to possibly fix this condition. It is actually very simple. All you have to do is take a band-aid or piece of tape, and tape the legs together, leaving about an inch between the legs. Just make sure that there is no sticky showing to get caught on the chick’s fuzz. I apologize for the blurry quality, but I think you can get the idea. This method is called Hobble Bracing. The legs of the chicks are not perfect, but at least they can now stand up and waddle around. Four chicks in all had to be hobbled. Only one chick is not really responding to the treatment.

I also have one chick that is, and I’m guessing here, full on mentally challenged. It lays on its back a lot. And its neck seems to be a bit bent down. Otherwise it looks perfectly fine. I’ll have to wait and see what to do with this one.

The last two hatched today. One looks just fine. The other looks weak and, unfortunately, I’m not really holding my breath for that one. It took so long to hatch that the membrane of the egg dried and stuck some shell to its head, covering one eye. With warm water and a Q-Tip, I was able to remove the shell and the eye looks undamaged. Time will tell. If it survives, it will have the name Phantom and may get a reprieve from the butcher block.

So, there ya go. 11 hatched. I have some “challenged” birds, but with a little TLC they should come around.

~Red

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