Saturday, 9 March 2013

Eating eggs and hatching eggs

Firstly, last weeks egg count -
Ex-batts - 2
Barnvelders - 1
Marans - 0
Hybrids - 2
And finally the ducks - 18 WOW!!

Most of the chicken eggs have been found in the straw bales in the 'Barn', Snowdrop especially laid her two there. The ducks have been amazing this week, today we had four eggs and a collapsed paper thin shelled one (which isn't included in the count). One of the ducks is going broody, she is hiding her eggs in the Barn.

Keith bought an egg incubator last week, and today he and Alden went and collected ten eggs which should hatch into Speckled Orpingtons. Of course, there's no guarantee how many hens or how many cockerels there will be. I wiped them over with disinfectant to remove any bacteria, and kept them pointed end down. Keith and Alden readied the incubator so that the temperature and humidity were right. Alden is keeping a calender so he knows when to check them and turn things off. We candled them with a torch and a peice of cardboard with a hole in it, one of them did not look quite right, so that one hasn't gone in. If one is cracked it will go rotten and that spreads bacteria to the other eggs because their shells are so porous, and they will die too. So being novices it was decided not to risk it. Hatching day is Easter Saturday, so real Easter chicks! Thats always assuming nothing goes wrong.
One day of rain on Thursday and the field has returned to a quagmire. One thing about all the rain, it drove the chickens into their shed early and now they are all in before the automatic door shuts - the same cannot be said for the ducks who occasionally need rescuing.

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