2016 Update – Week 28

Ridgetop Farm and Garden | 2016 Update | Week 28

This week it’s all about eggs.

We have eggs coming out our ears. The ladies are laying great. This is a fabulous problem to be having. We are also hatching eggs.

•  For the first time ever, I ordered hatching eggs. I’ve been wanting to add to our Marans flock, but haven’t found what I was looking for locally. Also, I would like to try raising Cream Legbars and haven’t found what I wanted locally. So, I opted to order from out of state. At this point, I am unsure if I think this was a good plan. I was definitely excited to try it as this opens more options for future breeds. I was impressed at how well the eggs were packaged and that none were broken. Once I got the eggs home, I let them sit for about 7 hours before placing them in the incubator. Possibly I should have let them rest for 24 hours?

• About 36 hours into incubation, I tried to pick up an egg to give it a little turn. It was stuck like glue to the turner. The egg broke. Two more eggs did the same thing. And by stuck, I mean stuck, stuck. We had to use a scraper to get it off the turner. My guess is it was the egg leaking, then hardening. Weird. I have never had that happen before. I’ve also never had eggs shipped across the US before. At this point, I need to do more research to find out if this is a common problem with shipped eggs, or if there was something weird with this batch. Also, the egg yolk and white parts seemed a different consistency, more liquidy, than regular eggs. Coincidence? I’m not sure.

• We quickly took the eggs out and cleaned the incubator. Then, put the turner and good eggs back in.

• The next day I checked on the eggs again looking for any that might be stuck. One Marans egg was stuck just a tiny bit. When I picked up the egg a tiny piece of shell stayed in the turner. Ugh! The membrane was still intact. So, I put tape over the missing shell piece and am hoping for the best.

• Thankfully, no more have stuck since then.

• Almost a week into incubation, the majority seem to be developing. Awesome!

• However, last night I noticed a slight odor when I opened the incubator. Dang! Farm Girl and I used our detective sniffing skills to find the culprit. We found it, took it out and smashed it to see why it was stinky. Nothin’. It wasn’t developing, but it also wasn’t rotten colored. It was more liquidy, though, than I feel it should have been.

• I am conflicted on what to feel about this. It is definitely frustrating since these eggs were quite expensive. However, it is still amazing to me that I can hatch any eggs that came all the way from Ohio. The way things are going, I will be thrilled with a 50% hatch rate.

• The barn swallow babies I’ve been admiring have learned how to fly, so I’m sure they’ll be on their way soon.

• I found another nest. This time belonging to a white-crowned sparrow. So far, there are just two eggs.

• The ladies are cranking out eggs like crazy. We’re getting nearly 2 dozen every day.

• We can’t eat all the eggs we are getting, so I have been putting extras in baggies and freezing for future use.

• We have two incubators. A couple weeks ago, I set eggs in one of them for the first time this year. Right now they are busy hatching!

Ridgetop Farm and Garden | 2016 Update | Week 28