Something in my room stinks. It seems to be coming, not surprisingly, from my incubator.
I say "not surprisingly," because many of my potential flock-additions were placed in there on March 2. Today is March 28, and although several (10, to be precise) have hatched, many have not, including 6 duck eggs, which are not due for two more days.
So, prior to chucking out those that chose, for one reason or another, not to participate in this whole "life" thing, I decided to try the float test. I went to the wonderful step-by-step instructions, to be found on this site, and did as directed. The photos show my results.
My questions are twofold. With regard to the duck eggs, they all sank. But, they still have two more days before they would have been expected to hatch... was it too soon for the water torture test to be accurate? Shall I assume that they are the "ripe" ones, and discard them? I would hate to think that they were ALL duds!
The second question is, of those that are doing the "low float" in the photos, how long will it be before they will reveal themselves (by bobbing, 45%+ above the surface) as dead, rotten things, if they are not going to hatch?
So, then I took the flashlight, and attempted to candle all the low-floaters, and also the duck eggs. I have never been any good at this, and last night was no exception. The only marginally-useful photos are below. The rest just showed a partial ring of light, where my hand contacts the egg, and in some instances, a small bright elipse, where the air sac is. Not enough light permeated to show vessels, beaks, or anything else. Sigh.
I do not think that my husband will actually leave me over the reek. However, his usual saintly tolerance and good-nature are being tested, I believe, more than even he is likely to be able to bear for long. It stinks. It really does. I have sniffed each egg, and I cannot identify those that are nasty versus those that are not. As a group, they are awful. One by one, they smell like... well, like eggs.
I cannot simply put the incubator outside, because experience has taught me that mice, rats and other chickens will pick the Styrofoam incubator until it is useless. However, I cannot bring myself to dispose of new life, if it exists in that wretched, throat-clutching, nostril-searing, box of stench. Ick.
Any comments, advice or observations? I will be grateful! So will he!
In this one, I lightened the portions of the eggs that are above the water, to make it easier to see their level.