My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I'm showing you the pic of the finished product first because, to be frank, hatching chicks are quite grotesque.

They started hatching early, which is a sign I had my temperature too high, so I need to get a thermometer to double check my incubator's settings. Early hatching and too high a temperature can be associated with malformed chicks and sticky/bloody navels, but I seem to have escaped that, phew!
On Thursday, when I filled up the water reservoir, I heard a little 'peep' so I opened up the lid and could see that a couple of the eggs had little pip holes in them and some of them were chirping at me and rocking! I turned up the humidity to the max it would go (70%) to help keep their membranes soft and left them to it.
I go quilting on Thursday night and my husband rang me there and told me, "There's this noisy little bird flopping round in the incubator!" I didn't rush home straight away, but must confess I was a little tempted! I left it in there overnight to fluff up and by the morning it had been joined by three more.

I had to go to work but saw two more hatch before I left. I had transferred the fluffed up ones into the brooder box by then. They had a heat lamp, food and water and I crossed my fingers that they would be okay.
I needn't have worred! Chicken babies are incredibly self-sufficient (unlike the blasted turkey poults).
By the time I got home, there were only a few to go. My son got to watch one hatch, although he got a little inpatient.
So all in all, I have 13 little bundles of fluff running around in the brooder. I set 21 eggs, removed 4 infertile ones on candling at day 10 and had a couple of uncertains and 13 ended up hatching. Not too bad but if I work on getting my temperature more accurate, I hope I will get even better hatch rates. My rooster's fertility isn't top notch either but he is trying to get around 10 ladies ;)


  1. How cute! Are these family pets, egg makers or destined for the pot? Or all three? I bet the kids love them when they're this little, I know mine would.

  2. lovely!! So so cute. I had a broody last year and let her have 6 fertile eggs - we got 5. 2 boys and 4 girls so all in all pretty good. I was so keen to do it again this year, but she didn't go broody again ( maybe last year was too much for her as her 'son' ( no relation really) fancies her terribly!
    Aw I want some!

    ps where about ( roughly!) are you in Northland? We're inbetween kerikeri and Kaikohe, are you anywhere near there?

  3. The purebreed hens I might keep, the crosses I might sell to people wanting backyard chooks and any roosters are looking at a short, but enjoyable, life ending up in the pot. And the kids do love them, almost a little too much if you know what I mean!

    And we live in Oramahoe area, so probably not far away...

  4. Hey sis, do you have a tute or link for the crown you made for Mr W's 5th B'day?

  5. wow chances are you're about 10 minutes away from us! How small worldy!

  6. ps - you'll never guess what - after I wrote that it seems Maude has ( hopefully) gone all broody. She's stolen all the eggs, even the plastic ones and was sitting on them all this morning looking like a large buddah and went all growly when I tried to take them away. So I spent the morning cleaning out the broody house just in case!

  7. Oh fingers crossed! Babies are so much fun. And it is a small world! Maybe I could get some Elderflower cuttings off you in late summer (I think that's when you're meant to take them)?

    And Cat, I don't have a tute, I just made it up. I was planning to make some more for some little girls for Christmas. If I get around to it, I'll photograph as I go and endeavour to write a tute.


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