We had set our first ever batch of eggs in the Brinsea MiniAdvance Incubator on the evening of April 5th with an anticipated hatch date of April 27th. During that time, we candled the eggs at regular intervals, marveled at their development, refilled the water pot for the proper humidity, and kept them in a nice quiet location away from drafts, sunlight, etc; everything I read one is supposed to do when hatching eggs. As this was our first hatch and our friends are excited about our farming activities as we are, we had planned a small "coming out" party for the chicks so that our friends could watch them hatch throughout the day with us. As such, I decided to move the incubator before we went into "lockdown mode" from our laundry room to our sitting/living room on a large dining room-style table. All was well through Thursday and into Friday afternoon.
On Friday afternoon, we went to the Broome County Farm Bureau auction held at the Whitney Point Fairgrounds. This auction includes both livestock and equipment. A friend of our had told us the inflated prices that some of the poultry had gone for the year before, so we decided to check it out to try to gauge the situation and if it would be feasible for us to raise some additional animals for the sole purpose of auctioning. I also had been wanting to add some muscovy ducks to our flock and had hoped that I could find some at a reasonable price. I drove to the auction after work. Allison met me there with our friend. Pete was going to meet us after his job; however, the livestock auction began at 4 and he doesn't get out of work until 5, so I was to get there immediately after work at 3 so that I could investigate what was going on and provide him feedback via text or telephone.
The selection of small livestock was smaller than I had anticipated; however, there were a couple of muscovy pairs and a breeding pair of Mille Fleur d'Uccles that I was interested in. As the larger livestock was up first for auction, Allison and I sat through the cattle auction and the goats and alpacas. Pete was able to arrive before we got to the poultry. I told him of the items I was interested. Pete, knowing me as he does, was a bit hesitant and I know he was thinking that I was going to bid too high and for too many items. (Can you really ever have too many ducks?) I was very proud of myself in that I didn't allow emotion to dictate my savvy farmer ways and I stopped bidding at my pre-determined maximum. I walked away empty but I was happy for the experience.
We went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant in town. As we had driven separately to the auction, I left before Pete and Allison (while he was taking care of the check) so that I could get home and let Herbie out.
I walked into our house to an unfamiliar high-pitched sound. I saw eggshells strewn about and some streaks of blood on the floor. The incubator bottom was on the floor and the top of the incubator was upside down on a chair. I realized then that the sound I was hearing was the alarm from the incubator. I picked up the incubator, still in a state of shock. There was one egg that was not broken and I could hear cheeping coming from inside. I placed the egg inside the incubator, not sure if it would hatch. By then, Allison and Pete had arrived home. We cleaned up the mess. Some not-so-pleasant words were said about Herbie by the two of them.
The following morning, I woke up around 6 a.m. and checked on the sole egg in the incubator. We had a pip! I excitedly went into the bedroom where Pete was still sleeping and told him that the egg was pipping.
He told me he would be up in a little bit. I went and made myself a cup of coffee and sat down at the table, cheeping and talking to the chick inside the egg. (Sorry for the poor quality of the photos - I used my phone.) As I cheeped to the chick, it pecked at the egg more.
By this time, I had gone back into the bedroom to get Pete stating, "it's happening right now!" and went upstairs to tell Allison the same. We all got coffee and sat at the table to watch the hatch.
Later in the day, Allison couldn't help herself but to hold that cuteness.
Nemo stayed in the incubator overnight. We set up the into our existing brooder so that Nemo would have a safe haven away from the other growing chicks we already had. He (although I really don't know the sex of Nemo) didn't seem at all phased by the larger chicks and just goes under one of the bigger ones to warm up. I will continue to post updates on Nemo.
Have a delightfully pleasant day!