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Not everyone will have seen this post about a neat gift Raven and I got. (Well ok, the post is mostly about our new floor. But somewhere in there are pictures of these really cool antique incubators that someone gave us.

They're huge, so we moved our kitchen table out and replaced it with the larger one, which I will use as a baking island thingie. It looks very nice, ya ya ya home decorating bullshit that's not the point.

The point, such as it is, is that I put some eggs into it three weeks ago, and there were many adventures with lightbulbs going out, and me learning to candle eggs, and turn them like a hen, and now: The box is cheeping! As far as I can see through the tiny window, there is one whole chick and two eggs with little holes in them.

It worked! I made at least one chicken be! This is almost as cool as having a hen do it. Not quite, but almost. Now all I have to do is keep them alive.

The little kid down the road is going to be SO impressed!

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On July 30th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC), aislin_cade commented:
I wanna go see your chickens. :( I like chickens.
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On July 30th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC), bice replied:
You live! Yay! I like chickens too. And sheep. And the goose is pretty cute. And the neighbors' pigs aren't bad either. Plus they have a bull named "Steak".

I just like animals.
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On July 31st, 2008 04:03 am (UTC), variance commented:
Ok ignore last post about why there is no momma!

This is a very cool thing. Congratulations. We've been debating breeding some of the parrots. In theory, it's a neat idea. In practice, getting up every 2 hours to feed a bald, demanding, hungry chick may not be the greatest thing. Still thinking about it though. You know my fondest for all things baby. Ok, all things not human baby!
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On July 31st, 2008 10:25 am (UTC), bice replied:
LOL - You're talking to the person who slept with a goose for a month, don't expect a balanced debate from this direction!

Would the mother not feed it? Or would you just have to incubate?
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On August 1st, 2008 09:17 am (UTC), variance replied:
Depends on the momma. i'm just in the process of researching how to do it. It's safer to incubate and the tube feed. Which would mean feeding every 2 hours. Or we can leave the egg with the parents and hope for the best. It means it will be harder to tame the baby though. Parrots are still wild animals, not domesticated at all. Our macaw, Lily, is first generation born in captivity. Both her parents were wild caught. So any babies she has would be considered wild. Does that make sense?
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On August 1st, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC), bice replied:
Yeah, it does. I'd be torn - with the hens I try really hard to encourage them to raise their own, because generations of hatchery breeding have apparently just about destroyed the nesting instincts, so even if the birds are a bit more shy (and with chickens it's less of an issue than macaws!) I'm happy that they've had a more natural chick-hood. But I DO like being able to handle them easily, both for practical reasons and because I like hugging hens, and the odds are much better if you are "momma".

Besides, the hens live outside, not in the house with me! (Well you know, most of the time, anyway. There's a standing offer for anybody who does go broody that they can live in the porch and eat cake for three weeks.)
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