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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Welcome to the cheep seats!

 Yes! We finally have chicks, real life chicken babies!

I do find it fascinating that many crafters are often also bakers, vegetable growers and chicken-keepers...I thought I was in the minority but no, there are more 'Chook Wranglers' at the Wednesday knitting group than 'Non-Chook Wranglers' with an incubator borrowed from one knitter, an Egg-lume (device for candling eggs - see below if you don't know what this means!*) borrowed from another and a tray of fertile eggs carried carefully from Middlewood Green we embarked on 'The BIG Project'...

Visitors to HH HQ over the last three weeks have been greeted with many cheeps and the invitation to 'hug a chick' - not your usual haberdashery purchasing experience!

The ten Light Sussex and one Buff Orpington chicks hatched over three days a little over three weeks ago and we have had a lot of fun watching them grow and boy do they grow! They are half-way through a 20kg sack of chick crumbs already!

Vintage Pyrex and hand-made porcelain dishes were pressed into service along with an old lemon squeezer which served as a brilliant drinker in the early days - baby chicks often throw themselves into water and drown because they are trying to get back to the wet atmosphere they have been used to whilst growing inside the egg!

As these babies were hatched in an incubator and not under a broody hen they like to have something to snuggle up to, in this case a knitted rabbit which attracted a few unkind comments at Wednesday knitting and a stuffed, hand-knitted sock that had developed a hole (I'm too lazy to darn it) were perfect stand ins!

It's not all cuddling fluffy lovelies and cooing over the little darlings either....we have to check their gorgeous little bottoms for 'pasty bum' a condition that can kill! *faints*

The first two hatched a little earlier than we had expected! Here they are on a non-slip tea towel and a dish filled with pebbles, they are tiny and look just like Easter chicks!

I tried hard to get some pics of them actually hatching but as I was 'being very good' and not lifting the lid of the incubator too often it was a bit's all about the humidity apparently!

This was our first go at incubating eggs and it has been a load of fun, we would definitely recommend it!

Hope you like the chick pics, creative in a very slightly different way!

Nic x

*candling - shining a light through the egg to observe the development of the embryo, yes really!