I'm happy to report that the three fertilized eggs we had incubating in our incubator have successfully hatched, right on schedule! The pipping began just before midnight on April 13th, and the third chick hatched just after 2:00pm yesterday, April 15th.
These chicks are cross-breeds, between our orpington rooster and barred rock hens. And, as such, they are referred to as “sex-link” birds. Basically, what that means is that they are “mutts”. But, what is also means is that they will be super productive egg layers, extra hardy, and excellent foragers. We also read that it is easy to tell which chicks are male and which are female, as with most sex-link chickens, the males look different from the females. In our case, we suspect that the buff (or blonde) chick is a rooster and the other two are hens. We hope we're right. But, in any case, we're very pleased with our new blessings from our Lord.
Watching a chick hatch from an egg is a remarkable sight. It amazes me to think that everything that is required to make a baby chicken is contained within that one small egg. I didn't realize how long the hatching process was, though. It took our chicks between 15 to 18 hours, from first signs of “pipping”, to break out of their eggs.
Our incubator preformed very well, too. All I needed to do was add water, to maintain humidity, once every other day. The nice thing about it is that it only used a maximum of 60 watts of power. So, it ran just fine off of our solar battery bank.
We really enjoyed incubating our own eggs and are very glad that we did it. We still have seven eggs being incubated, but we're letting our two broody orpington hens handle those. We'll see how they do.