Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Embryo Count!

With the kid's help, did the egg candling tonight! Here's the breakdown:

Each incubator had 28 eggs for a total of 56 eggs. Out of those, 10 are clear--no signs of any development at all, those were duds and were removed from the incubators. Of the remainder, 21 are uncertain--they have shells too dark to see through so for now we err on the side of caution and assume there are chicks in there. That leaves us with another 25 eggs where we saw development--blood vessels and active, squirming chicks!

It's very exciting to hold new, developing life in your hands like that!

The 10 infertile eggs, there were 4 Cochin and 7 from our flock--3 from either our White Leghorn, Sora or the Polish girls, Poof & Sugar, and 3 from Rugger, our Salmon Faverolle. To be fair to our girls, I haven't seen our roos mating ANY of the possible moms, I just wanted to take a chance and incubate some of their eggs just in case. My roosters are oddballs who do not recognize either of the Polish girls as hens, the dolts. OK, Phoenix mated Poof a few times about two years ago, but I haven't seen anything recently. Poor neglected Polish ladies! I had hopes for Smokey to be doing his thang with any hen that would stand still long enough, and certainly Rugger has been getting caught...but I guess she's a wee bit too young yet. Maybe next year!

Of the 25 developing eggs with oh-so-squirmy-irmy embryos, 12 are light Brahmas, 5 are buff Brahmas and 8 are Giant Cochins! Wow!

The remaining 21 eggs were, like I said, too dark to candle or I was uncertain about. That includes all 10 Birchen Maran eggs (like trying to see through iron, those egg shells!), 4 light Brahma, 5 Giant Cochin, 1 buff Brahma and surprisingly, 1 white egg from our flock that I just couldn't tell with--possible moms are Sora, Poof and Sugar.

So, the infertile eggs have been removed from the incubators so that the machines can concentrate on the 46 good eggs that are left. Twenty-four eggs are in the still air, 22 in the forced air unit. I won't candle again but we'll just go straight through to hatch date and see what comes out!


  1. From Christina on LJ:
    Hen and Chick Brooder?
    I've enjoyed your site and learned so much from browsing it. It's so good to read experiences of someone who has a mixed flock of beloved chickens. We started keeping chickens a year ago and have enjoyed every moment. My family and I can't imagine a chickenless life now!
    I was interested in your broody hen section. We have a Wyandotte who is sitting on a clutch of mixed eggs. We made the mistake of leaving her in the hen house. We figured we'd move her and her brood after the hatch. I had set up an outside run and spare "coop-ette" for her but worry it's still too cold for her chicks. I'd love for her to have a go at raising them, if she's interested. I had not thought of putting mom and babies in a brooder set up like you described. You said you used a large cardboard box. Would a refridgerator sized box do? Thanks for any tips you can share and the wonderful site you provided!

    1. Re: Hen and Chick Brooder?
      Sorry for the delay, I've been very busy with the chicks. :) Refrigerator boxes work great! If you are short like me, make sure you can reach the bottom of the box, and I always tape up the flaps so the shavings don't leak out and make a mess. A day or so after the hatch mama will likely want to jump out and will try to call the chicks to go with her, depending on on happy she is in there, so you'll have to assist the chicks out. Our older girls caught on that the brooder box was their home most of the time and were content with it, but we did allow them some 'roam time' out on the floor, and when the chicks were about 2-3 weeks old they got escorted out into the yard for foraging/dust bathing with mama, of course we stayed *right* next to them all the entire time to chase off any bullies and jealous hens--mama can't be everywhere at once!

      Enjoy your chicks!

  2. From lonesomenumber1 on LJ:
    You're on MetaFilter!


  3. From janewt on LJ:
    Hi, I hope you don't mind my adding you as a friend--it's Notophthalmus/Andrias Scheuchzeri from Ustream chat/SA.

    ....is it wrong to think that a Smokey/Rugger cross would be a truly ridiculous bird?