Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘candling eggs

Backup Plan

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What have we done? Cyndie says she called me to ask if she should. I interpreted her call as informing me that she would. While in the vicinity of a known supply of new chicks, Cyndie stopped in to look and came away with twelve. Three each of four breeds, two we have experience with and two that are new to us.

Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, Americana, & Black Brahma.

I was given about an hour to get the brooder set up and ready. No waiting for the Post Office to deliver, we were going to have twelve new chicks within a day!

The thing is, we still have twenty-two incubating eggs in our basement bathroom at the same time.

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A few days ago, we candled those eggs and saw little to inspire hope of success for our first ever attempt to hatch our own chicks. We heard about a new batch of chicks arriving at the Buffalo Country Store and began to think about the advantage of such simple access to already sexed pullets.

We figured it was just a passing thought though because Buffalo is such a long way away from where we live. Then, one of those messages from the universe popped up that seem hard to ignore. Cyndie discovered the location of a training session she would be co-leading placed her mere minutes away from Buffalo.

I didn’t immediately say she shouldn’t go through with the purchase, but it did feel like we were making a hasty decision. To allay my concerns, we agreed to move up our next check of the incubating eggs to update that situation. If there were few signs of progress, our backup plan of buying the chicks would seem less impetuous.

My concerns were not allayed. While the first two eggs we happened to check showed little visible difference from a few days earlier, about twenty others revealed successfully developing veins and other detectable features. Multiple times the dark spot of an eye could be seen. It appears we have a lot more viable eggs than we realized.

It’s quite possible we could end up needing a new backup plan to solve how we will house two different batches of chicks hatched several weeks apart.

I guess this is one way to deal with large losses to predator pressures. Increase supply until it outpaces demand?

If ever there was a time to heed the adage of not counting chickens before they hatch, we’ll deal with the next reality when it arrives. But the possibilities have us marveling over how much things can change in surprisingly short spans of time.

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Written by johnwhays

May 9, 2021 at 9:34 am

Learning Again

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It’s another first for us. Last night, on day-7, we “candled” our incubating chicken eggs. Honestly, I had no idea what we were going to see. I’ve left the research up to Cyndie. I was under the impression we would see blood vessels growing. That’s about the extent of my expectations.

The first thing I noticed was that it is hard to see through the dark shells. We almost always were able to detect some definition of a darker area and a noticeably lighter air cell, but rarely perceived actual veins. That can’t be taken to mean there weren’t any there, just that we couldn’t see them.

I didn’t know how much any of this really mattered until learning that an incubated egg that isn’t growing a chick will instead grow bacteria and eventually burst or even explode into a stinky mess.

We suddenly have a new incentive to learn how to correctly interpret what the bright light reveals inside the shell.

I took this picture of one of two odd ones that appear to be more porous than all the others. At least this made it easier to see inside. The darker portion on that egg is much, much smaller than all the others, whatever that might indicate.

Cyndie marked all the eggs with a checkmark or a question mark so we can compare progress the next time we try out our candling skills. Next week.

Hopefully, well before any bad ones threaten to erupt. I really don’t want to learn about that experience first hand.

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Written by johnwhays

May 6, 2021 at 6:00 am