Friday, May 22, 2009

The Countdown...

...is on! I gave the eggs in the incubator their final turn last night, topped off the water, culled the undeveloped eggs and shifted the remaining 12 eggs to one incubator--the one with the forced air fan. All of the eggs are dark green and too dark to candle except two--a light shelled egg and a light brown egg, both with definitely a chick inside.

Meanwhile, the 5 remaining eggs out under the hens are too dark to candle--except one, which looks to have a chick inside but is also horribly cracked. I chose to leave it be under the hens to give it a chance. Two eggs are under Moet, a buff Frizzle Cochin who has raised chicks before and three are under Bear, our Easter Egger Head Hen. Moet got the cracked one since she is smaller, lighter and more gentle than Bear. When hatch day comes, we'll either put all of the eggs under one hen or leave them be with Moet & Bear--but the mama(s) & eggs will be transferred to a brooder box in the house for the hatching. I'm hoping the hen's eggs hatch, as Moet REALLY screeched at me and pecked me HARD (which she never does) when I checked under her tonight. Hopefully that's a good sign that she knows they are viable.

If any of the incubator eggs hatch, they will be added to the mama hen's chicks, since hens can't count. The way to do it safely is to slip them under her at night, while removing the unhatched eggs at the same time.

Hatch day is in two days, on Sunday. By tomorrow afternoon we should be seeing eggs rock and hearing chicks peep if anything is going to happen. When that occurs, the webcam will start!

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