Thursday, May 24, 2007

Eclectus baby hatching today!

well, today promises to be very exciting here in the nursery for us. our long awaited first Eclectus baby is in the process of hatching right now. this baby is from our pair that we bought as babies, raised and petted on them for 4 years. We set them up and then started the watch and wait period. Poppie, our hen, got busy almost immediately laying two clear eggs. Solomon got the protective and feeding her part right but not the vital fertilizing at that point. after two more clear egg clutches, we finally got one fertile egg. Poppie incubated it but we had a terrible cold snap and we lost the baby. to make a long story short, we have been through 12 months of her laying, candling eggs, experimenting and figuring out what was going to give us babies and not just eggs.

this time, i pulled the first egg and put it under a cockatiel pair that was laying and i knew would incubate any egg. since tiels only take 19-21 days to hatch their babies, i knew i would have to move this egg in the 10 days of incubation. that made the egg 20 days old. i only had 10 days of incubating and turning the egg until hatch day.

Yesterday was the calendar day. i watched the egg all day after placing it in a small container lined with paper towels and soft tissue for the coming baby. Steve and i checked the egg about 11 pm last night before bed. there were a couple of small pip marks on the egg but no real holes.

6:30 am: since Steve has to be up early for Bible study @ 6:45 am, Thursday mornings, he checked on baby ekkie before i did. he came upstairs to wake me since he only saw a very small pip hole. i got up to go check on things, pulling out my incubation and hatching book as i went to the incubator. Candling the egg revealed a very active and busy chick inside. when i whistled the baby answered me so no worries at this point. Egg was securely back in incubator to continue his/her work. i took a short video of the beginning of the process and think i will continue to film throughout the morning. I'll post the video on my website later.

8:30 am: baby is really pipping now. he has worked about 3/4 around the large end of the shell and is starting to push it open a bit. he is still chirping when we talk or whistle. Steve is home from Bible study and taking a peek. Tears are in both our eyes! the miracle of birth! i pray that this small miracle never dims in its awesomeness when my 1000th egg hatches! I've hatched several babies in the incubator prior to this one and we have had numerous parent hatched babies; however, this baby is our baby from two of our babies! it's very special to us!

10:30 am: Baby has made a larger crack and is pushing steadily at the large end of the shell to open it. i believe he might be out of the shell by noon.

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