I hatched a small batch of Icelandic chicks over the last three days in my incubator. They were from fertile eggs I took from my broodies that they had been gathering eggs to sit on. I swapped them out with eggs from my incubator, all due to hatch on the same day. A staggered hatch is a hassle in an incubator but can be a disaster under a broody. They can do one of two things, abandon the unhatched eggs to care for the ones that have already hatched, or kick the baby chicks out of the nest to continue trying to hatch the eggs. Either way it would probably not have ended well. So I got stuck with the staggered hatch.
It ended up not being too bad as a couple of eggs that should have hatched first, quit developing. So I had five hatch over a three day period which is not bad. My plan was to post them for sale on Craigslist. I don’t want to raise any brooder babies right now. I have 20 babies with Moms out in the yard already! But, this group of chicks is so darn cute. There are even two color/patterns I haven’t seen yet. Here they are as a group. Chick #2 asks that you please excuse her pose. She just hatched today and she’s a little tired.
The first chick with an unusual color/pattern is this one. It is the brightest orange I have seen in a chick.
The second one is has a really colorful head and a beautiful chocolate brown back. It looks like an espresso caramel macchiato from Starbucks.
I just don’t think I can let these little guys go on Craigslist. So I have a hatched a devious plan to slip them under a broody hen who has been sitting for about ten days and see if she will take them. It is risky and has to be done under cover of darkness while the broody is in a trance sleeping. The theory is she will wake up and think her eggs have hatched. I am about 50/50 right now on whether I will try it. Check back tomorrow for the sequel. Hopefully it has a happy ending.