After a long wait, The Forge chicks have finally hatched!
21 days ago, we carefully selected a colourful array of eggs from Houdini (our Cotswold Legbar), Stripe and Charcoal (our Light Sussex chooks) and Archie and Alfie (our Burford Browns) and popped them in the incubator. For three weeks they have been gently lulled back and forth at a constant 36.4c largely ignored in the general chaos of the kitchen.
But late last night, when at last the house was falling quiet, there could be heard the unmissable “peep, peep, peep” from inside an egg. Upon candling (fancy term for shining a head torch up a toilet roll and into the egg) you could easily make out the beak and the wings. Great excitement!
So this morning we were all falling over ourselves to get out of bed and race down to the kitchen to see what surprises there were in store. And we were not to be disappointed. Two little bundles of yellow and black fluff were peering back at us, peep peeping away happily. And then every time we went back to check on them another one had hatched. It seems they’re like popcorn, slow to start but then once they get going there is no stopping them! Made all the more memorable by the almighty thunderstorms raging in the background while all this was going on…
We’ve now got six healthy chicks affectionately known as “Charlotte”, “Wendy”, “Molly”, “Thunder”, “Lightening” and “Chick”. This is what happens when you place the huge responsibility of names on the shoulders of a five and a three-year-old!
They’ll be spending the next week or so in their luxury cardboard box, complete with heat lamp and top-of-the-range chick crumb, before being slowly acclimatised to life outside and back with the other hens. And if all the handling that they’ve had in their first 24 hours is anything to go by, I have no doubt that these are going to be very friendly pet hens for our guests to meet and get to know!