Sunday, April 21, 2013

A very stormy Saturday, and finally some chicks!

Last Saturday was very stormy and cold - by Israeli standards, of course. We had wind, rain, hail, and I had to pull out the warm clothes from the upper shelves where I (very confidently, since it's already close to the end of April) put them a little while ago. 

Even worse, on Saturday morning the electricity just flopped out, and because operating electric appliances on Shabbat is forbidden, we could not even attempt to fix it. So, we were stuck all day long with no heating, no lights, no way to heat our food, and worst of all - no way to keep our incubator running. We just put in a batch of eggs on Wednesday, among them some Sebright eggs my husband purchased as a gift for me, and I was devastated. It was 15 degrees (C) in the house, and dropping rapidly, and I knew the chances of our eggs are dwindling with each passing minute.

"Wait," said my husband, "there's something we can do." 

... I took the eggs to bed with me, made a nest (yes, like a good broody hen!) and spent all day snuggled with them for warmth under two thick blankets. Come evening, we (temporarily) fixed the electricity problem and set the incubator to run again. I'm still not sure whether my "hatching" helped at all, but we had nothing to lose, and it was quite an experience. Hopefully, in a day or two we can candle the eggs and know for sure. 

The tiny Sebright eggs we put under our broody, who yesterday was just in the final stages of hatching her first clutch of eggs. This morning we went out to the sounds of chirping, and put mother hen and her four chicks in a cardboard box at home, away from the cold, wet and dangers of the outside (cats, dogs, foxes, hawks, etc). The Sebright eggs went back into the incubator. Thanks, dear little hen, for helping us keep them warm! 
 I really wanted to take a picture of her with all her chicks, but they just keep huddling under her wings. So cute. This is the first time we got chicks hatched by a broody, and we're so happy.
 Here they are in a plastic box, where I put them for a minute to take a group photo. The light yellow chick on the left actually came out from an "adopted" egg, but the hen doesn't seem to notice. :o)
One of the chicks held by Shira. I know it looks this way, but she really isn't pinching the little one's beak!

So, as you can tell, we are having fun despite the atypical spring weather.


Chava said...

Wonderful! I'd love to have chickens, Silkies are my favorites.

We're finally warming up here and it is GLORIOUS!

Anonymous said...

Oh they are so cute. Keep them warm & safe from the foxes. My great grandmother used to have chicken. It was such joy to look after them but that was a looong time ago. Keep warm, Joburg is very cold at the moment.

Leah Brand-Burks said...

They are all ADORABLE! And what a funny story that you likely saved the eggs by snuggling with them, hahaha! I sure hope they hatch for you later. :-)

Tammy said...

What a clever way to overcome an obstacle! I too, hope your Sebright's hatch healthy and happy.

They're gorgeous little birds. I can't wait to hear more about them.

Kelsye Cassell said...

I just put away my baby girls winter clothes because it was up to 85 (f). The very next morning after a storm it was 42. Out came the clothes again :).

Rose said...

What a clever and sensible solution.