This weekend was my birthday, and also the birthday of a chicken! It is the birthday of the chicken that concerns us here.
Early this morning we checked all the eggs, and found one that had pipped, meaning it was smooth all over except for a tiny crack at one end. The little crack had been hacked from the inside with only the teeniest of tools: a baby beak about the size of a pencil lead, wielded with all the wet-spaghetti force of a baby chicken's first movements. The chick was resting after its efforts; the egg was still and silent. We carefully replaced it under Mama Orpington.Later in the morning, we returned to find that the little chickie had made a lot of progress! Its whole beak was out and it was cheeping and peeping. The outer shell was crackled, but was still attached to the membrane in most places. The membrane was kind of tough and rubbery, not papery as I expected. I could feel the chickie move and struggle around inside the egg. When the chick was resting, the whole conglomeration heaved in and out as the chickie breathed, HARD. (Speaking of things that were hard--it was really hard not to peel the rest of the shell right off! Or at least peel a bit back so we could see the chickie's face. But according to...everything...you should not help the chickie out of the shell.)
And right before we left for birthday lunch at Harney and Sons, we found that the little chickie had finally busted out of the majority of its shell. It was SO TIRED. We took advantage of its exhaustion to snap the iconic picture of "Baby Sleeping Peacefully In Giant, Tender Hands." Only in this picture, the baby is a little stuck inside its poo-encrusted membrane and shell. Baby photo faux pas!! I do like how it looks like the chickie is wearing one of those baby towels that have a hood, though. You know the ones; sometimes they have a frog or a duck face on the hood. Totally for babies and children. I certainly don't have a duck towel like that. (...shifty eyes...)
And once we returned from the Land of Teas several hours later, the chickie had dried out and gotten fluffy. It now looked straight from the Cute Factory instead of the Wet Little Alien Bird Factory. The craziest part at this stage are the wings. They are just little flaps, only about the size of Guinea pig ears. Check it:
Happy birfday little chickie!