Saturday, March 20, 2010
And then there were four
Number 4 finally made it! Hurray, Pokey!
She's the most vocal - in an angry sort of way - of the bunch, but we figure she's earned it. She pipped last night, and didn't escape the shell until 5:30 tonight. Twenty-four hours of fighting your way out of an egg is enough to make anybody cranky.
Toward the last, we did relent and give her a little help. There was a narrow strip of membrane stretched across the opening that would stretch a bit as she pushed, but was too tough and dry to break, effectively locking her in. She was getting tireder and tireder, and we hated to lose her this close to the end, so we gently broke the membrane which let her finally (eventually) break out. (Madman also gently removed the eggshell stuck to her head after the hatch - she looked like she was wearing a particularly ungainly football helmet...)
The reason you're not supposed to help is because of risk of injury to the chick. They might be stuck to the inside of the shell, and pulling on it could actually rip their skin (or worse.) It's far better to let nature take its course, hard as that may be. There were times watching Number 2 that we literally had to sit on our hands to keep from helping.
Number 6 is still working on her great escape, but we lost Number 5 soon after she pipped. (We're sad about that. She was so close to the finish line.)
Meanwhile, Numbers 1-3 got to move to the Big Girl Bin:
From left to right, that's Number 3, Number 2, and Number 1 (Gladys) - we number them by when they pip, rather than as they hatch. (I don't know why, we just do. Helps us keep track of who has hatched so far and who's still struggling, I guess.) (And yes, the green stuff is new-born chickie poop...)