Baby Chicks, Part Two

It's really hard for me to believe that these chicks aren't even a week old yet! Only three hatched, which is too bad. I finally got rid of the remaining four eggs and cleaned the incubator today. No Buckeyes hatched at all! I contacted Jeff from Crain's Run Ranch where I got the Buckeye eggs and he said he incubated 24 eggs from the exact batch he sent me and 18 of them hatched.... he figures it must have been some problem during shipping - the got jostled too much or got too hot.... oh well, he will send me more for just the cost of shipping next spring. I may try to find a few hens to keep these three babies company until then....

The first few days after I put the chicks in the incubator were touch and go. One of them has been exceptionally perky the whole time. The other two just seemed to want to lay around and sleep for the first few days. I was petrified I'd come home to find one of them dead. They seem to have pulled through (at least for the time being) and are starting to act a lot more like chickens now - pecking, eating, drinking..... it's nice to see! I'll introduce you to them one by one:

This is the only one who has a name so far: Three Spot (from the three black spots on his/her beak.) Three Spot is by far the perkiest, most energetic chick of the three. Based on his personality I have a feeling he's a rooster, but there's no real way to tell yet. He was the first to learn to drink, peck, and poop, and generally runs circles around the other two. A few days ago he started pecking at the other two a little too much for my comfort, so I tried to make a chicken wire partition to keep him away from them. He pecked at it for a few minutes, then backed up and took a running leap at the wire, wedged his head through the 1"x1" fence and his body followed. He's a trip!

This is the chick that hatched with Three Spot. I was a little worried about her at first, mostly because compared with Three Spot she didn't seem to have much energy or pluckiness. She's coming around now though. She's the roundest and fluffiest of the three, with only one black spot on her beak.

This is chicky number three - the third and last to hatch. She's got an all black beak with a white spot on the very tip. Her markings remind me of a penguin. She was also pretty lethargic to start out, but is now rivaling Three Spot in her energy.

Here is my brooder - a kiddie pool lined with old bath towels. I put up chicken wire around the outside as extra cat insurance (I keep the door closed, but you never know....) and also to keep the chickies in as they grow bigger. I've already caught Three Spot looking curiously toward the edges of the pool! It he does turn out to be a rooster and the other two are hens, I'm not sure what I'll do. I'm already quite attached to him - he's got such personality! I was thinking I would butcher the roos, but if there's only one, I don't know if I can bring myself to do it..... we'll see how things develop.

I'll post video of them soon!
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