Thursday, December 22, 2011
Don't count your chickens
On Monday night, 12 December, I put these 12 fertile eggs under one of our hens who had been spending most of the day sitting on the communal nest in the chook shed. It hasn't gone so well. At first, she didn't seem too pleased about being shut in a cage when her two friends were off free-ranging in the sun (and the pouring rain... not the brightest chooks). She was sitting on the eggs, but whenever I appeared in the shed she got off the eggs and squawked madly, most upset. Then she settled down happily spread out over the eggs for a few days.
Then one morning she flew out of the brooder box when I opened it to refresh the water. Had to catch her and put her back in. At that point I figured she was not so keen on being mother hen and kept a close eye on her to see that she was sitting on the eggs. Then she broke one of the eggs, and then another, which was difficult to clean up and the remaining eggs were looking pretty dirty. So last night I took the eggs, gently cleaned them and stuck them in an incubator borrowed from our neighbour Nigel. I don't hold out a lot of hope that any will hatch given the bumpy ride so far, but I'll keep turning them a couple of times a day just in case.