Chickam 2011
March 19, 2011 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Chickam 2011 has begun. Live cam of a chicken-egg incubator run by a Something Awful regular. So far five chicks have hatched, please welcome Rambo, Spaghetti, Weedcat, Pompadour and Duck.

As previously the event was announced with a thread on SA where members could pick a number and pre-name the chicks. Some won't ever hatch though, so it's a bit of a gamble.

The chicks hang out in the incubator for up to 24 hours after hatching, but once they are pretty dry and fluffy they will be moved to the brooding box, where they will mill around being adorable en masse.

The attached chatroom can also be accessed by registered users of ustream using an IRC client if you prefer it to the inline chat. A lot of kids tune in to watch this, so the chat is G-rated.

To cover the first two most common questions, the purpley thing in the picture is a water-weasel with a thermometer in it, to gauge the temperature within the eggs and pipped means that a small hole has been made in the egg.

It is not uncommon for there to be a little blood in the egg when they hatch, don't worry. It is not uncommon for them to be trampled by the other chicks after they hatch, don't worry. The narcoleptic tendencies displayed by the fuzzy little newbies is also very normal, don't worry, be happy.
posted by Iteki (26 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
All babies are cute. Even poultry.
posted by Jilder at 8:36 AM on March 19, 2011

All babies are cute. Even poultry.

Babies are cute so we don't eat them before they've had a chance to create more cute babies.
posted by phunniemee at 8:39 AM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

Larrold J. D'Sousanopholous, III

ok laughs are coming out
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:51 AM on March 19, 2011

phunniemee: At first glance, that makes sense, doesn't it? But then it infers a completely anthropocentric reality, something a little closer to Biblical history than reality. Have you ever seen how adorable baby polar bears, baby tigers, baby lions are? Nothing good could come of that in any way- there is really little in the way of evidence that they are cute in any relation to human beings.

I obviously believe there is some definite socio-biology in relation to the smaller or more domesticated animals in relation to people, but strangely, it may just be a random quirk of evolution that eventually became streamlined into something useful. I think the easiest connection to make is between mammal species, and there is the obviously connected ability to impute empathy as a social bonding agent, but it really appears to be a more universal effect.

Anyone who has studied this and can explain the concept- why large, predatory animals have babies we find adorable (predatory animals that often evolved with little relation to humanity or even before modern humans), I am all ears!
posted by Bushidoboy at 9:14 AM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

I can attest that hatching eggs in an incubator is super awesome mega fun, fraught with drama and suspense. I established my duck flock with eggs off ebay, where surprisingly several varieties of poultry eggs are available. I found plans online of how to build an incubator out of a styrofoam cooler, a lamp wiring kit, and a water heater thermostat. It's been the most fun I've had since I was 8 or so, and I recommend it, so long as you're prepared do provide for whatever comes out of the eggs.
posted by Lou Stuells at 9:58 AM on March 19, 2011

There goes my weekend....
posted by Flashman at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2011

I like how they are constantly fighting not to fall asleep, then sleep anyway for a couple of seconds, then wake up again.
posted by ikalliom at 10:05 AM on March 19, 2011

We had a nice pile of chicks a couple few years ago... Indeed, they were mega cute, and now produce many, many delicious eggs!
posted by kaibutsu at 10:20 AM on March 19, 2011

I lost a whole weekend to this last year, and part of the working week I seem to recall. I know I was distracted at work because I was wondering how it was going for number 9.
Just came back to see that "corner egg", aka Roostroyer has hatched while I was putting on the dinner. Drama! All the chicks been over poking at corner egg and hassling it for days, and I missed him.
posted by Iteki at 10:45 AM on March 19, 2011

Awww, Spaghetti is snuggling #5. Go chicks go!
posted by Wuggie Norple at 11:35 AM on March 19, 2011

Yes, and #5 has pipped! We're about to have another chick. This is indeed drama and high excitement. It's just what I needed today.
posted by lriG rorriM at 11:36 AM on March 19, 2011

why large, predatory animals have babies we find adorable (predatory animals that often evolved with little relation to humanity or even before modern humans), I am all ears!
posted by Bushidoboy at 9:14 AM on March 19

Predatory animals tend to have eyes facing forward, reminding us of human babies, while prey animals tend to have them on the side. A tiger or owl (or human) has forward facing eyes to relentlessly track a target, while a deer or a goose needs the peripheral vision to see if something is sneaking up on them.
posted by 445supermag at 11:39 AM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks for posting this! I'll be sitting at the reference desk at the library for the next 2.5 hours so this will be a nice distraction.
posted by morganannie at 11:48 AM on March 19, 2011

Number Five is ALIVE!

I apologize. I had to.
posted by Mooski at 11:58 AM on March 19, 2011

posted by Redfield at 12:01 PM on March 19, 2011

Peepsquire has hatched!
posted by mandanza at 12:19 PM on March 19, 2011

*happy sigh* I feel like I personally struggled with Peepsquire to peck through that egg. Man, what an ordeal hatching is!
posted by lriG rorriM at 12:19 PM on March 19, 2011

I love this, but at the same time, it brings back terrible memories of fifth grade. Chickens were absolutely my favorite animal as a kid, and when I was in fifth grade, the classroom across the hall got to hatch and raise chicks. They were fluffy and adorable and everything fifth-grade-me could want in a class pet.

My class, meanwhile, had cockroaches.

Hissing cockroaches.

As pets.

And, man, insects are cool and all, but there was no convincing fifth-grade-me that hissing cockroaches could hold a candle to fluffy adorable chickens.

It still haunts me.
posted by pemberkins at 12:26 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

I too really love chickens, whether they are adorable little chicks, fussy hens, feisty roosters, or on my dinner-plate. Oh and I like eggs too.
But watching baby chicks hatch is wonderful. My son in law got some Rhode Island Red chicks. Turned out five were little roosters and one was a little hen. As chicks they had stopes like a marmalade cat. They had the little combs. My little grand daughter was amazed by them.
They grew up and only two were kept, the hen and the least aggresive rooster. The rooster broke a leg and died. The hen got stuck in a fence and died. Amazingly the dog did not try to eat them. They used to sleep with him.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:52 PM on March 19, 2011

The yellow one appears to be eating the rest of them.
posted by gjc at 5:37 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Someone in that house has a nasty cough. Maybe some ... chicken soup?

posted by gjc at 5:43 PM on March 19, 2011

This is vastly less stressful than my weeklong NHK World binge, that's for sure.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:07 PM on March 19, 2011

How long before Ustream is bought by Google?

I mean, c'mon 47! There's even more of an outside! And it is going to blow your mind.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:41 PM on March 19, 2011

This brings back memories of kindergarten. One of the school bus drivers had a farm, and every year the kindergartners would get to hatch the chickens and ducks in the classroom. They'd live in the class for a few weeks, in a pen on the floor made of big blocks and lined with newspaper. I'm smiling remembering it.
posted by mollymayhem at 1:52 PM on March 20, 2011

Burger is just about to hatch!
posted by Akhu at 4:03 PM on March 20, 2011

I have started dreading spring, with its reminders that I no longer have adorably fuzzy baby chicks: I have big honkin' hens with ugly feet and creepy yellow eyes. WORST TRADE EVER.

But then I remember the time that I left my house (where I was brooding chicks in my living room) and drove to the store and I could still hear the cheeping.

The sound echoed in my head, it was inescapable, it haunted my very dreams. I work from home, and a small home it is, and I heard nothing but cheeps 24x7 for about two months straight.

And I think, "Well, it's not so bad, then."

(Also: fresh eggs.)
posted by ErikaB at 6:14 PM on March 20, 2011

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