Friday, January 12, 2018

The Weekend Roundup (B)

Today's weekend roundup, brought to you by Tom the Backroads Traveller, has given us the following prompts: Starts with B, Week's Favourite, and New Beginning.

Starts with B
Baby starts with B, and we currently have a baby chick in the house.

This baby chick is from an egg that Whisp was sitting on - I showed Whisp in my blog a couple of weeks ago.  As I mentioned in that post, this wasn't planned - it was a result of my being away for a week and Marc not collecting the eggs on a daily basis.  I wasn't sure if Whisp's eggs were developing, but candling suggested they might be, so I kept her with her eggs but brought her inside because of the extreme cold we were having here, which was affecting temperatures in the chicken coop.  This little one came into the world on Monday, which was earlier than I'd expected.

Whisp seems to have taken motherhood in stride (even though these are not her eggs - they were eggs from one of our brown layers).

Week's Favourite
I know this category is supposed to be a week's favourite picture, but I'm never good at week's favourite picture, so for my own twist on this topic, I'm going to start including a brief discussion of my favourite thing about the past week, whether I have a picture or not.  And I might add a picture that is unrelated.  So this week, my favourite thing was the fact that I completed some major projects, and all the BIG project deadlines have been met.  This week (after Wednesday) was my first week in many months that I was able to look at my work "to do" list and say "Wow, I am all caught up!"  This was a tremendously good feeling for me.  I still have ongoing projects, but they are not enough to require me to work late nights and I might not even have to work this weekend, which would be amazing. 

Here's a picture from a couple of weeks ago that I rather like.  It is moss and lichen growing on a tree in our yard. I enjoy the variation in textures and colours.

New Beginning
There is a new beginning occurring in my home office at this very moment. As I said up in the "starts with B" section, earlier this week, Whisp's first egg (of 4) hatched. With no further signs of hatching, I thought the rest were not going to hatch, since they usually hatch at about the same time.  This morning I was cleaning the cage and I decided it was time to get rid of the other eggs since she was not sitting on them reliably any more, being more focused on her new chick.  As I picked up the bag of cage waste material to take to the garbage, I heard a noise from in the bag.  I rushed to get the eggs back out of the bag and realized that one of them had a tiny hole (a "pip") and that there was a chick that was in the process of starting to hatch.  I'm so glad it made that tiny noise when it did!

Here is the current new beginning at the moment (around 3 pm this afternoon).

I set up the incubator and put all 3 of the eggs in there because Whisp was too focused on her little one and she was not sitting on these eggs very consistently.  This is actually normal because, as I said, the eggs tend to hatch at the same time, and the mother hen typically only waits a day or two after the first one hatches and then abandons any remaining eggs.  What I think happened here was that Whisp started sitting on one or two eggs the day that I left, but other hens kept laying their eggs in the same nest box while I was gone.  Thus, the first egg was ahead in its development.  The one that is now pipped is carrying on in its hatching process. 

Around 4:30 pm, the chick began the "unzipping" process in which they begin to open the eggshell completely by creating a break that goes all the way around.  Here was that process underway:

The other two are not yet pipped and may not ever hatch, but I need to give them a day or two more just in case. 

I then went out to pick up our sustainable local fish delivery for the week, and by the time I got home, about 20 minutes later, the chick was out.  I have put it in with Whisp and her first little one.  I had to get it out from underneath her for the photo.  It is still drying off and fluffing up.

Tomorrow it will look like its sibling!


Tom said...

...Claire, I find all this chicken stuff interesting, I'm clueless when it comes to these critters. Trees I know, but chickens no! When it comes to 'this week's favorite' use your imagination. Those greenish lichens are always a favorite of mine. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to "C" you next week.

Lin said...

Oh, this is so exciting! I'm glad Whipp gets the chance to be a mom.

Jim said...

Whisp is a nice Mother, whether on not a 'natural' one. Have you told Marc yet about the chicks? Tread on ice when/if you do. Thank you, I have never seen baby chick birth process. We raised chickens but bought ours, a lot. We bought unsexed, kept a bunch of pullets for laying as Moms sold eggs, and then sold the roosters. But not all of them, we saved some for as chicken every Sunday after church, and then some for when company came also.
I am glad that you are caught up, as long it isn't from lost business. Being retired I still have ongoing projects but they aren't for work.

Michelle said...

I've always read that Silkies are great mother hens, and Whisp is living up to that! SO glad you heard #2.

Ralph said...

Love your chickens - mom looks soooo fluffy and the chicks are cute, and have that look that any newborn has of seeing things for the first time. It is wonderful that you protected the eggs by bringing them inside. Mom and babies seem to be doing well!

VioletSky said...

So cute!! I wish I lived in a city that allowed backyard chickens. Of course, I'd also have to live in a house with a backyard...
but I am attracted to chickens, and chicken blogs (so will have to go back and read your previous posts to get caught up!)

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

As a total city girl this is fascinating to me!