Monday, May 25, 2009

13, 14, 15 ....16!

I was washing dishes in the dairy yesterday morning when Christian came in and told me to hurry up and follow him. I followed him out back and looked where he had pointed his finger and saw Mickie with three little white peeps. She had hatched them out and was on walkabout with them.

We went back to her nest where nine eggs remained. It was reminiscent of Dawn's first attempt at motherhood when she came home with one peep. She probably felt it, thought she was done and came home, abandoning who knows how many eggs in the process. Anyway, experience told us she wouldn't return to hatch more, so we set off to get her in the coop with the new peeps before the impending rain started.

We got the peeps in right away, but Mickie wouldn't follow at first. I figured Dawn could raise them if she never came, and left them in the coop to go finish chores. I asked C if we could gather the remaining eggs and put them under a lamp, just to see if we could get more and he got it all set up while I kept washing.

Let me just say I had NO IDEA how close to put the light to the eggs. But more than once I thought I saw an egg or two move.

We finished morning chores and found Mickie at the coop door with one peep who squeezed out to be with her and one more wedged under the door. I sent all of them in with Dawn and the others and hoped for the best. When I came out later, Mickie was sitting on all 14 peeps and Dawn was just stretching her legs. Success. We have co-mommies.

Later that morning I went back to check on the eggs and heard peeping. For real. From solid eggs. Totally creepy. But also exciting.

By that night, one egg had a hairline crack in it and more peeping.

...and a couple started to stink. I think I may have cooked the duds.

Long story short, we hatched out one last peep this morning. We let him sit under the lamp until he was dry and moved him off with his mommies and sibs. We chucked the rest of the eggs, which showed no signs of life. At last count, all 16 were doing fine, though "Retarded Peep", as we are calling the late hatch, was a little slow. (Hence the name. Please know we are using retarded as it is intended, to mean slowed - not as a pejorative.) We hope he'll make it, but if he doesn't we are still pretty pleased. 16 guineas at $5 each... time to line up buyers.

Oh, and as a cute update, here's a shot my dad took when my folks were here Friday. Eeeee!

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