Peep, peep

"At first, the chicks huddle together to stay warm."

"The chicks are tuckered out from hatching."

Today I was able to see some newborn chickens. They had just hatched out of their eggs, and they were super tiny and fluffy and still wet from being inside their eggs. They were all sorts of different colors. The color of a chickens’ egg is the same color as the skin of it’s ear-flap, and many of the eggs were very different looking. A black and white chick hatches out of a blue-green egg, and a yellow chick hatches out of a white egg, at least for those particular species.  

I was also able to see a chick hatch. When a chick hatches, they first poke a hole in the egg-shell with their egg tooth, the single tooth that they have on the end of their beak when they are born. (The tooth later disappears as they grow older.) Then they begin to peck a line 3/4 of the way around one end of the shell. After that, they simply push their way out of the shell. And there you have it. A baby chicken.

At first they’re very tired from hatching. They collapse on the ground for a long time, all huddled together. After a while they begin to get more curious. They are quite vocal and chirp all the time. Their chirping encourages the chicks who haven’t hatched yet to start pecking their way out of their egg. In fact, before any of them hatch, they call to each other from inside the eggs, to signal that they are ready to start hatching. Then they all will hatch within about 8 hours of each other. It’s amazingly coordinated. In a few hours they’re all dried out, exploring, and peeping to each other.  

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