Counting chicks

I’ve never before seen a chick hatch out of an egg. Have you?

First you notice that the egg has a little hole in the shell (sometimes you can see the beak pecking through), and over the course of the next several hours the hole grows slightly larger.

The egg rocks from side to side and you can hear the high-pitched cheeping coming from inside the shell.

As it gets closer to fully hatching (I can’t help but think of transition here) the hole extends into a line, a chasm, that gradually widens.

Bits of shell break off—I saw one piece separate with such force that it cleared the tops of a couple neighboring egg before falling to the floor of the incubator.

Finally, at long last (and with much urging on my part—“push, baby, push!”), the chick spills out, all wet and gooey and stunned.

It lies still, resting, then chirps wildly and flails about clumsily, trying to lurch away from the shell and towards the anticipated-but-not-there mama hen.

It rests again, still as death itself, and then suddenly flails about some more.

After about fifteen minutes of drying time in the toasty incubator,

we transfer the baby to the holding box on the dining room table where it joins its half siblings.

We’re hoping for a decent crop (flock?) of chickies, but since we certainly know better than to count our chickens before they hatch, we’re counting them as they hatch, nice and slow, and egg shell bit by egg shell bit.

One Year Ago: Cooked Oatmeal (I feel like sobbing when I see those luscious, frosty blueberries—next year we’ll be sure to get some).


  • Mama Pea

    What a wonderful experience for your kids!

    My husband who is a recently retired 3rd grade school teacher hatched out a batch of chicks and a batch of ducklings every year in the spring in his classroom. When word went out that the eggs were hatching, there was no formal teaching that day as there was a steady stream of janitors, administration, teachers, parents and kids in and out of his classroom all day.

    What a great experience. And just wait until you get those first fresh eggs! That's almost as exciting as the hatching.

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