We now have four chicks in the hatching incubator. I'll be taking them out tomorrow.
We have one chick from the Columbian Wyandotte egg - clearly the French Black Copper Marans is the father because it's black with feathered feet and legs. This chick is for sale ($3).
We have one chick from a Welsummer egg, also our of the French Black Copper Marans. That one is staying here to produce lovely chocolate brown eggs if it's a hen.
We have one chick that hatched from an Easter Egger blue egg that has pretty mahogany chipmunk stripes. This one will be staying here in hopes of furthering our colored egg production.
We have one chick that hatched from Blue's egg (our Splash Cochin hen). No idea who the father is but much to our stunned amazement, this baby looks just like blue did as a baby! Fluffy and blue! This one will also be staying with us.
We have 19 eggs in the incubator that are set to hatch just after Mother's Day, including several duck eggs. I'm crossing my fingers that at least some of those ducks will hatch because I ordered a single Ancona duckling for the order arriving next week, assuming by then I'd have ducklings hatching here to keep it company. The two duck eggs in the hatching incubator now have yet to pip.
Tomorrow Tony is going to pick up some thermometers from work. It's supposed to be cold and raining all day tomorrow, but perhaps Thursday or Friday I can get out there and get the brooder in the barn cleaned up and set up again. I'll have to put a tarp over it to both block the drafts and block the bigger chickens from roosting on it and pooping on babies. I bought an expensive heat plate so I wouldn't have to use the heat lamp, but it's still getting down to the 20's at night (will be high 30's and low 40's by next week), which is just too cold for baby chicks, and I suspect it's too cold for the heat plate to be able to compensate for, even with a tarp to keep out the draft. The barn is not insulated or heated. I don't want to put them out there yet, but Tony is right too - the house shouldn't smell like birds, and I swore off having them indoors last year. And yet here we are, two brooders, soon to be three or four, in the living room. On the plus side, we haven't had to pay for gas to heat the house. Their two heat lamps keep it a toasty 75 in the house. Seriously, it's just above 40-degrees outside right now and I am so tempted to crack a window in the bedroom tonight.