Last month I travelled north to visit my sister and her family. Bev and her husband live on a “homestead” in Northern Ontario Each visit usually brings a new surprise just depending on the time of year. This time it was hatchings season!
Ten little baby chicks had hatched 24 hours before I got there. Being a city girl I had never seen baby chicks that small before. They are all down and have no feathers. They can easily get chilled, so they are kept in a large translucent bin with paper towel in the bottom and a little chick warmer.
I had no idea that each little chicks beak had to be dipped in water so that they will know that they are supposed to drink it. They eat special chick feed and grow very quickly. The chicks on the left are about 3 days old. There is also a photo of one of them in my sisters hand showing the feathers on the wings that are already starting to develop. Every once in a while this little guy would flutter his wings for the sheer joy of it and hover for about 10 seconds a quarter way up the side of the translucent bin.
I was amazed watching turkeys hatch in an incubator. It takes hours for one of them to hatch. The chirp away while they peck through the large end of the shell – rest for a while and then peck and chirp again. When one hatches it stumbles over to another egg that is hatching, cheering on the bird that is emerging from the shell. The turkeys stay in the incubator for up to 24 hours after hatching so that they will dry off and not be cold when they move into the translucent bin, similar to the one the chicks were in.
The pictures of the chicks were taken using a macro lens – Canon 17-85 mm We cut down the side of a cardboard box and placed a white towel inside. We set the box on a table in front of a window for natural light. While I took the pictures my sister stood guard – those chicks sure can move fast!