No matter the species, new life is amazing. Here is a video of one of our little chicks wiggling around in its egg. When I watch it I am just as amazed as seeing a baby on an ultrasound. What a privilege to get to see through the shell and witness what is going on inside and to be able to share it with Ayden. That candler was worth every penny...
We have enjoyed incubating our own eggs more than we even thought we would. Every time we hold an egg over the candler we are in awe of the new life that is developing inside and how it is all self-contained. We are also in awe of nature itself. In order for successful hatching, we have to keep the incubator at a steady 100* fahrenheit (though short periods of fluctuation are okay) and we have to turn them 180* three to four times a day. We also have to make sure there is water in the bottom of the incubator to insure that there is enough humidity to keep the chicks from sticking to the shells. All that seems easy enough to achieve in our controlled setting with thermometers, electricity and such. But if we look at how hens can not only do it but do it BETTER themselves, it is truly fascinating!
From what I have learned through my reading, hens know when to get up for a little while if the eggs get too hot and they will sit for hours to maintain a proper incubation temperature. They don't purposefully turn the eggs but as they adjust themselves for comfort and get up and down for food and bathroom breaks, the eggs get rolled around in the nest. Maternal instinct is powerful and something that runs so deep in almost every species. I feel privileged to be part of such a prestigious club.
I know I mentioned that we had 4 eggs out of the 31 we have in our incubator that were not developing. Here is a side by side of a developing egg vs a non-developing egg over the candler:
|We will discard the 4 non-developers after day 10.|
(though we could probably go ahead and just do it now...)
Flashback! Here's what we were up to one year ago today: "Dinner Party"
Two years ago today: "Focus On The Positive"
And three years ago today: "Growin' Boy"
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