Monday, April 06, 2015

The Chicken and the Egg

You see that picture right there? That's the future of Wandering in the Wonderful, well at least the future of the farm aspect of WW. Monday I went to the farm store and picked out an incubator. This Little Giant Still-
Air wasn't the model I wanted, but it was the only one left in the store. I didn't want to wait even another second, let alone the 3-5 business days to order one online. Our Almanac told us that the best days for setting eggs would be the 2 or 3rd. We chose the 2nd as the date we would set our first round of eggs, ever. We have never done this. We don't know if any of these eggs will be viable. We had saved them up and sat them first under our Silkie hen Cottonball. She wasn't interested. She would keep them turned, the nest clean, everything she was suppose to do as a good brooder, except sit on the nest! I have already started saving back eggs to replace these if they fail their candling on the 8th. 

We had chickens when I was very small. I remember how exciting it was to watch through the incubator window as the little baby chicks broke free from the shell. This is the first time as an adult I have had an incubator, and the first time I have been in charge of monitoring the temperature, and humidity levels. Its exciting, and challenging and it will be so worth while. 

The incubator is set up on our kitchen table. After they hatch they will be moved to oh so fancy homemade brooders that will be in my kitchen floor. How do the dog wonders handle this? Scarlet ignores their existence. She doesn't go near the brooders. Inigo loved having chickens in the house. Every morning he would run into the kitchen and look into the brooder to check on the baby chicks. Even now he loves trips to the coop. Him and Godzilla the rooster do not get along, but the hens love him. 

I am not ashamed to admit that Youtube videos taught me how to candle. I didn't spend money on a fancy candling system, just a simple LED flashlight and piece of poster board cut to funnel the light. Candling is basically the chicken egg version of an ultrasound. At different points of incubation you illuminate the inside of the egg with the flashlight to check for development. If you don't see any development after the first week, or if you stop seeing development at any point its time to throw out the egg as it is not viable.