Day 21 of 21
Ruby made it to the end, though she looks a little worse for wear. Right now, she has three babies, but I have only had a good look at two. It’s very chilly outside, even in the garage, so all of the babies are tight under mama.
Both of Hector’s eggs hatched, and Bianca’s baby chick just couldn’t hatch all of the way. So after promising myself last night that I would only help a little and let nature take its course, when I saw the egg this morning, I thought it was worth a try to help. It looked like it may have been just stuck in the egg because the egg cracked and the membrane stuck to the chick (though I am not sure if there wasn’t some earlier issue). Still, that seemed fixable–maybe.
I had read some years ago about how to carefully hatch a baby chick from an egg, but I was pretty nervous about it. Baby chicks have skin so thin and fine. It’s very easy to hurt them. Plus, there is the sad reality that most chicks you have to hatch will not make it.
But in this baby’s case, I could see some strength. I thought, since it pipped and Friday and still had some strength on Sunday, maybe there was hope. So, this morning, while Ron did all of the morning chores, I sat in the bathroom light and, with tweezers, hatched a baby chick.
It was both terrifying and magnificent. When I had first eye free and it saw me, it definitely gave extra wiggles. Truly, it helped the whole time though, which makes me a tiny bit hopeful in a fairly hopeless situation. That baby wiggled and wiggled while I carefully peeled back shell and egg membrane one tiny piece at a time with a warm, wet paper towel helping when the membrane was dried and stuck. I hurried as fast as I could, but since I had to be so careful, I am worried about how cool it got–I mean on top of everything else.
We will see what happens. It did manage to fluff out, which is a good sign. However, it is not moving around like the other baby chicks. I am pretty sure it will not make it.
Ron asked me today what I thought its chances were.
“Maybe 50-50,” I said but then thought better. “Maybe just like 70-30.”
I didn’t have to tell Ron which side was 70. He knows. That little golden chick is an underdog for sure, and I always love the underdogs. I’m trying not to let myself love this one though. I am realistic about what will likely happen.
But I am happy overall that Ruby has her babies. She has had a tough broody period. I am glad for her to finally be a mama. This morning, she started eating the baby food and just ate for a bit. Thank goodness!