The Country Diary of a GenX Woman


2013-02-19 07.16.14 The keet had not made any progress when I looked in on it at 6 in the morning.  There was still just one little triangle of shell broken out, so I decided to intervene as it had been about 18 hours since it first pipped. The general advice is it can take up to 24 hours to hatch, but I had expected to see it out in the morning or at least having cut more shell away.  Four from the first hatching died in their shells in November, so despite all the internet “advice” about how they would bleed to death, be crippled or die, I had helped out quite a few and all survived. My birthing kit this time included 2 wet tea towels which I heated alternately in the microwave for 15 seconds to create a warm, moist atmosphere round the egg as I was working on it.  
2013-02-19 13.10.41
I have a pair of flat tweezers which I use to break small bits of shell away from the fat end of the shell and tear small pieces of the white shell membrane without touching the lighter clear sac surrounding the bird.  I wet my finger and gently stroked off the membrane to free the bird.

It is important not to pull the bird as it is attached to the shell, so when there was nothing to restrict its movement, I let it unfold itself out.   Apparently it is important for the young birds to hook their feet over the shell to push it off, and their huge feet must have some purpose.  When it was all out (with shell still attached) I put it back in the incubator for a couple of hours to dry off and get rid of the shell.  I then popped it inside my top to keep it warm as it finished drying off and sleeping.  It seems to stop it chirping and looking for mum.  

The second bird did much better and had cut through most of the shell, but I gave it a bit of a hand at 4 so it could dry off and lose its shell by 6.  It is in my top as I write and will go in the brooder with its buddy in a couple of hours.

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Inspired by The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady