Three chicks hatched on Independence Day and one more is hatching right now. I just went out at 7am and checked them. The chicks are active and healthy. Charlotte is still sitting on the remaining eggs. One egg has cracks and I can hear peeps coming from it.
The tally is:
1. Candie's baby: cuckoo maran - chick is pure black
2. Pennie's baby: Red sex link - chick is pure white
3. Bonnie's baby: unknown breed, but very large hen - brown and yellow striped chick
4. Pennie's unborn baby is not hatched, but peeping
I find it odd that the red sex link chick is white. Possibly Pennie mated with Leggy, the white leghorn rooster, instead of Muffin, the lead rooster who's black (unknown breed, but he's lean and tough). Muffin doesn't normally let Leggy get away which such activity! Candie, the cuckoo maran hen, is all black, so it makes sense her chick is black. Bonnie's chick is the same color as Bonnie, too. I'm curious to see if the second red sex link chick is white, also, like it's sister.
Bonnie's baby has already been named Big Bird. Big Bird is the largest of the chicks and was the slowest this morning. Big Bird came from a BIG egg. She could have just been tired. This morning Big Bird slowly wandered away out of sight from her mama hen, which concerned the mama tremendously. I brought Big Bird back and she tucked herself under her mama's wings. The other chicks are hyper and popping all around. They get tired quickly and run under their mama's wings to nap.
I made sure each chick had a drop of water in her beak and provided medicated chick crumbles, which they all pecked with interest. Mama Charlotte was very thirsty and drank heartily. She hasn't stood up since the eggs started hatching, so I bring the water and food to her. I am concerned with the heat in the coop and want to make sure no one gets dehydrated. Charlotte is locked in the chick coop, so no other birds have access to her and the chicks. The other chickens can be heard outside the windows and doors but can't access the coop.
Pictures will be coming soon. I hate to flash the infants when they are newborn. Mama Charlotte always gets upset when I make the flash go off on her and her babies, she's very protective.
Possibly this weekend I will buy some more chicks from the local farmer's market to supplement this hatching, since it seems there will only be 4 chicks. With my bad luck, all four of these ones will be roosters!