She just hatched yesterday in my classroom, and already she has learned how to walk, peck at food, dip her tiny beak into a lid of water! Without a doubt, she is the smartest chicken who ever lived!
She took over 22 hours to hatch — first a tiny crack, then 4 hours later a centimeter hole. Four hours later another small hole. Then a long night of worry and a 5:30 a.m. visit to my classroom to see another small hole. By 11:30 a.m. she had not hatched, and I called the hatchery — Meyer Hatchery — to ask advice. They said I could pull back some of the “shrinkwrap” membrane which was clinging to her, if the incubator was too dry. I did so, and 15 minutes later Frances kicked out of the shell like a karate chicken! Then she proceeded to roll around the incubator for an hour, drying off and struggling to her feet. What a powerhouse! She is an amazing chicken!
I am hoping she will be followed by a second chick, who was pecking inside the second egg, but had not cracked it open today. It was a terrible dilemma — do I help? Do I let nature take its course? Was my incubator too hot, too dry, too cool, too — what? When do we intervene, when we’ve already intervened by incubation?
At the end of the day, I brought Frances home in a makeshift brooder — then could not find anywhere that had chick mash for her to eat — everyone was out! So I rode around to various neighbors who have chickens, and found a hidden gem — Marie, a former teacher who has many, many chickens and was very generous with mash and advice. A lovely way to get to know neighbors!
Here is Frances Chick’s hatching “Odd”ysee: (what is it about chickens that makes you want to pun?!)