Whether it is your first peachick ever or the first one of the year it is a special gift, even if it does like to “talk” a lot! As you collect that crème colored egg you have no idea if it will hatch or not, but if it does it has the possibility of becoming a rare beauty, a new jewel for your pen or even a new color for your collection.
I didn’t want this year to be like last year, no way. Last year I tried to incubate some of my peafowl’s eggs, but they were clear, too old, or had a blood ring. I had two eggs in my incubator and after candling one I didn’t see anything. “Oh great,” I thought “I know where this is going.” I candled the second one and was amazed at what I saw… veins! I carefully put it back in the incubator. A few days later I became worried that the bad egg could ruin the good one so I cracked it open outside only to find a small chick inside…Oops. That was not a good feeling. Then I panicked. Did I just crack open the good egg?! I rushed back to the incubator, no I didn’t crack open the good one. Now I am much more careful! As the days passed I continued to candle the remaining egg, more than was needed for sure, and got to see how the veins got bigger and branched out more until the day came when I saw it moving and it was dark. When day 26 came the egg was moving and I got excited. Later we became worried because it still wasn’t piping. Around day 27 it piped. We were going out of town soon and this peachick HAD to hatch before we left. On the last day of school when I returned home you could see the peachick’s back sticking out of a hole. I took pictures and put them on the UPA forum and Backyard chickens.
I waited for replies for advice from the forum when thankfully we got a call from Doug McNutt of D & M Farms. He told me that the peachick was breaching and had not piped correctly and that I needed to help it out or it would probably die. Thank goodness Doug called because with his instructions we carefully chipped away at the shell and we didn’t see any blood. When we got the chick out, it was just lying there with its neck stretched out slowly blinking. It started to close its eyes and I feared it was going to die.
Today “Peep” as my dad calls the peachick, is pacing back and forth in the corner of the baby playpen crying for me as I write this, it is very hard to believe that this peachick had such a hard start hatching only two hours before we had to catch our flight. After it hatched I had to help it uncurl its feet by gently picking it up and getting it to grasp my fingers with its toes all straight. I tried to teach it to eat the first day to no avail. It stumbled around trying to walk. Now it races around the playpen jumping in the food scattering it everywhere and when it drinks it over-exaggerates lifting its head to swallow water by backing up really far and bending its neck down low smacking its beak. When it gets a little too loud we take a padded lunchbox with a small towel and wrap the peachick in the towel in the lunchbox and carry it around that way. This way it falls asleep and we finally get silence.
I am so happy to know that after everything I have been through, trying to get just one peachick it has finally paid off! I don’t care if it is a male or a female because I will love it no matter what. All kinds of things could have stopped me from getting this peachick…But those things didn’t happen. Even if you are way past that stage of bad hatches and get lots of peachicks every year and sell most of them, stop for a minute to think about how each one is special in its own way just like us. It will grow up to be yours or someone else’s joy to own, a stunning beauty that started off as a small little plain looking peachick with some big spurs and a big personality to fill! Oh yeah, and I left out a big voice too…