Happy 4th of July! As a Brit, I don't celebrate it, but living in a garrison town that's had a fair share of US military staying, I've no doubt I'll hear the odd firework tonight. And as someone who believes in freedom, I'll happily celebrate Independence Day (even if my British forebears didn't). :-P
But today I'm hoping for my own reason to celebrate. It's zero hour for Project Egg! I'm posting late in the hope of news, but if nothing happens (they could potentially hatch as late as the 8th), I'll come back and add info later. If you prefer up to the minute alerts, you can always find/follow me on Twitter as @pippajaygreen or follow my Facebook profile HERE (sorry, I only accept friend requests from people I've interacted with elsewhere now). So, short and sweet post with some updates to finish.
Revision on Keir's Shadow is done. Yay! It's now with my editor for analysis. Edits for Unexpected arrived yesterday and are due to my editor by the 14th. Deadlines!!
On Saturday I got a shock. The pigeon nest was empty! I'd hoped they'd fledged rather than having been predated by our local peregrine falcons although I still thought they had a few days to go before fledging. However, Sunday morning I spotted one, then two baby pigeons in the same tree. They'd simply moved out of their flimsy and probably now cramped nest to perch on nearby branches. Phew! By the end of the day, they'd gone so I guess they were more ready than I thought.
On Sunday, my hubs let the chooks out for the first time since I bought the hatching eggs...and Effie abandoned the nest to come out by herself. The first time I've not done the chooks since the eggs arrived, and that happens. By the time I was up, the eggs were stone cold and Effie hadn't gone back. We've no idea how long she was off them - it could have been all night and not just the hour since hubs had let her out. She did go back to brooding but only after I returned her physically to the nest. They're due to hatch today but at time of writing I've no news. There's nothing we can do, or could have done since we don't have an incubator. That's Mother Nature for you. I will let you know.
7:30am - no pipping (breaking through the shell) but could swear I heard scraping and tapping in one of the eggs. Noise later confirmed by 12yo!
8:15am Now tapping sounds from two of the eggs!
12:15pm there are now tapping sounds coming from five of the six eggs! The egg marked Mott (each egg has the colour of the hen it came from on the shell, in this case Mottled like our current hen Pitch) was unmistakeable with three very sharp taps close together. The only silent egg now is Mille (millefleur).
3pm took hubs down to listen to the eggs and not only only are they all tapping and some hard enough to feel it but also he heard one peeping!
6pm we have the first pip!
6:05am - we have a second egg pipping! We also had a chick cheeping loudly which even put a look of amusement and wonder on my usually stoic 12yo's face.
8:05am Three eggs now pipped! Each egg was labelled with the colour of the mum it was laid by, and the third egg is Mille (millefleur). I was especially worried about this one as it was the last to make tapping sounds but the chick is now cheeping!
12:40pm - I will now refer to them by their colour written on the shell. Splash and Mot have now made a big enough hole to see them! Lavender is pipped. Lemon is cheeping!
3pm six eggs a-cheeping...
3:30pm we have our first hatchling. Despite pecking a smaller hole, Splash (who was the first egg to tap) hatched first, overtaking Mot.
6:30pm Splash has dried out, and Mot has just hatched. The remaining four eggs are all pipped. Goodnight babies!
8pm okay, so I couldn't resist checking them one last time! Splash and Mot are now all fluffy. Mot looks slightly smaller than Splash. A third egg - maybe Lemon or Lavender but I didn't want to disturb Effie any more than I had so didn't pick it up to check - has a proper hole so could be hatched by morning...
7am all six are now hatched! Going to be harder telling who came from what coloured egg, though not impossible.