Sometimes the headlines write themselves. Seriously, how do you not click through on that? Mama hen hatched out a baby some time yesterday, and has two more eggs working their way open below her. I took the baby out to take pictures, and she jumped out of my hand and made her way back to mama.
K. Here’s the video. The mama is that dark grey blob in the corner. Sorry the lighting is so bad. At least the baby is yellow. Wait. It’s brighter out now, so I took another video. This one is better. You can actually see the mama.
I love how she tucks the baby in. Mamas everywhere are pretty much the same, n’est pas?
Couple notes, for those of you with more than an “aww, sweet!” interest in the video:
- Hear that high-pitched “cheep! cheep! cheep! cheep!”? That’s a distress call. If you’re raising chicks in the house and you hear that sound, SOMETHING is wrong. Go help.
- Hear that growly/clucky sound? That’s the one they mean when they say, “Like a mama hen clucking over her chicks.”
- Baby chickens are, as you can see, quite capable of doing a great deal for themselves. They have to be. Eggs don’t just hatch themselves–the baby has to work hard to get out. It starts with a poke through an inner membrane into an air cell inside the egg, then after a rest the baby pokes another hole (a “pip” in the parlance) in the shell. It looks like a dent near the large end of the egg. Then, after another rest, they spin in circles expanding the hole into a line that severs most of the top part of the shell from the bottom. Finally, they push it open and slide out. Here’s what the shell looks like after they hatch:
- It’s raining outside. That’s why there’s roaring in the background of the video. It’s also why I’m dripping right now.
- Baby chicks are the fourth most cute creature on the face of the earth. Others, in order: #1, quail babies. #2, duck babies. #3 kittens. Actually, it’s kind of a toss-up between kittens and chickens. Here, look:
See. Told ya.
One more thing: Newborn chicks, like newborn humans, come out kinda wet and floppy. They’re actually not cute at first. Unlike human babies, however, it takes only about four hours to shape up and get their cute on.
Oh, and a couple others:
UPDATE 1-18-2013: She hatched all three babies!! Two are blue (grey), and of course the first was silver (yellow). Woot! All seem healthy and happy.