Everywhere a chick chick! Goldie's chicks are 16 days old now, and all eight are thriving. She is an excellent mom, and I remain quite impressed with her 80% hatch rate. Just look at their feathers--I do believe they take after their mother. (The blue-grey legs you see in the second photo, however, are their father's contribution.)
Eggsperiment #3 is coming to fruition even as I type this post. You may recall that I began with 24 eggs, and had to remove 8 after the first week (and two more last week), leaving me with 14 in the incubator--already a far poorer statistic than Goldie's 4 out of 5 success rate. But since I read not to hope for better than a 40% hatch on my first artificial incubation, I've still had my fingers crossed.
Late this morning, two eggs showed the first signs of hatching. By 6 pm, eight had tell-tale cracks and peck-marks. Then, at 8 pm, there was this:
Early Bird is peeping and already creeping around in the incubator! Egg #2 is on her way as well... So does anyone think that Goldie might be willing to adopt some new chicklets?
And in case any of you were wondering, Heath(er) (of Two Mommies fame) is four weeks old now. The White Queen relinquished custody entirely to Timmy, and the yellow chick is now really big--very funny, because Timmy is a rather small bird and the two make quite the pair. I swear, Heath(er) must be nearly half Timmy's size by now. (The photo below was taken about two weeks ago.)
Since you guys inspired me to take pics of all these new babies, I wound up making these. I want to make some more with the raccoons on them next.
Speaking of which, the Rockies have definitely moved on (lucky for me and the chicks). My father thinks he saw someone stop on the side of the road, put four of the raccoon babies into a box, and then load them into their car. Strange but true. A raccoon rescue, perhaps? I don't think people eat raccoon around these parts. At least, I certainly hope not...