hkb

Chirping
Jun 29, 2019
68
222
96
Southern Alberta
How do I do a hatch-along? Like... this? Am I doing it?

I just put some eggs in the 'bator after some of them had quite an adventure. There are 17 mille fluer d'uccle in there that finally got to me after being shipped from Newfoundland on Monday. The seller requested the eggs be held for pickup, which would have been fine, except that it wasn't "held" (ie, available for me to pick up) until more than 24 hours after the driver left a note saying it was being held for pickup. He could have handed me the package, but instead he left a note and then the package rode around in the truck an extra day before finally going to the post office. Good gravy! Oh, well. I candled them and, no surprise, every single one has a damaged air cell. I stabilized them in the carton, and let them sit at room temperature for a few hours. Normally I wait til the next morning, but some of these eggs are a week old, so I opted to put them in the incubator all nice and padded and start sooner rather than later. I figured 1) They'd been at room temperature and sitting still overnight at the post office, at least, and 2), I'm not going to be able to turn any of these eggs anyway because the air cells are shot.

Well, yeah, nice idea, except that I'd accidentally put the wrong bulb in the incubator. The bulb was a small heat lamp, which was fine when the incubator was empty, but once it was full of eggs, the fan wasn't keeping up and the temperature spiked to 106ºF in the hottest spot. Luckily, I'm home on a Friday night ignoring all my friends and watching eggs incubate, so I caught it quickly and got the temperature lowered. Unluckily, I thought it was a problem with the fan at first, so while the 'bator was cooling down, I took the fan out and tested it and it was working fine, but I broke the wires trying to test it, so then I had to re-wire it and I couldn't find a soldering iron or clamps or anything other than the tiny scrap of electrical tape that was holding it on before (unluckily, I'm renovating so it's chaotic here even by my standards), but luckily I somehow wired it even better than it was before anyway, and I situated the fan in a better spot, so that's better. Long story short, I hope even one of these eggs hatches and I'll have to name that one Lucky or something.

Oh! I also have some eggs that my dear friend gave me from her backyard flock (I'm positive she's on BYC, I'm seeing how long it takes us to cross paths). In a lovely case of coincidental symmetry, Amy had 17 eggs for me as well. Three silkie eggs, five barred rock, and 9 EE eggs (silkie rooster). My favourite one is a sweet little mossy green egg with brown speckles, which my friend collected from the coop while giving me a tour of the changes to her yard since my last visit.

I also bought a dozen pekin duck eggs (and was given 20!) which I haven't started incubating yet. I think I'll start those on Monday so that they hatch on the equinox (Fall Equiducks, har har). Also, hopefully I will have found the cord to my other incubator by then so I don't get fed up and splice a new cord into it because lord knows I do not know where anything electrical is right now. They're very fresh and locally sourced, so I think they will be just fine for 3 days.

About the title: I like to time my hatches so they coincide with the moon phases. I'm not a wizard or anything, it just helps me remember when I did things. Today is the beginning of the third quarter and the eggs are due to hatch on the Harvest Moon (which is a micromoon this year), and that'll stick in my brain. Kind of like naming hurricanes, I guess. It also leads to moon magic "oh, shit" moments when seeing the moon reminds me of things, lol. Oh, and wouldn't it just be precious if that one EE fart egg actually hatched and it was a lil micro-egger? I candled it and it appears to have a yolk, so who knows. Like, I know it's not going to hatch, but if it does, then boo to all the micro-fartin-egger-haters out there. :cool:
 

hkb

Chirping
Jun 29, 2019
68
222
96
Southern Alberta
I candled and see signs of life! Yay! I think two of the half-silkies are double-yolkers, one has two developing embryos and one only has one. The fart egger yolk got really big, but no veins. I cracked it open, and it the whole thing was yolk, with a bull's eye, but no development. Interesting. I should have taken a picture... I'm terrible at remembering to take pictures.

I candled a couple of the millies, but I don't dare move them too much. I kept them upright while candling. I do believe some are developing. Their growth is about 24 hours delayed compared to the fresh eggs, which is to be expected. The air cells are more stable than when they were fresh out of the box, so that's very encouraging.

Equiducks start incubating today. I'm bringing them to room temperature now. I bought some Swedish duck eggs for eating today and asked if they also sell hatching eggs. They do, and these eggs are fertile. I think I'll put a couple in just for kicks. I candled them and picked ones with small, intact air cells. Some of them have the air cell in the pointy end, for some reason. I put a couple of those in.

While I was thinkin' bout stuff, I had a couple thoughts:
- I bet it wouldn't even be that hard to make a gyroscopic shipping container to reduce concussive damage on egg contents
- I bet I could make a wind-up egg turner
- I'm going to make an incubator that's also a glove box, because I'm as meddlesome as they come
 

hkb

Chirping
Jun 29, 2019
68
222
96
Southern Alberta
These dollar store ice cube trays for making giant ice cubes work really well for holding these eggs upright.
 

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hkb

Chirping
Jun 29, 2019
68
222
96
Southern Alberta
I modified my store bought 'bator to go inside an aquarium. Haven't added the armholes and cuffs yet, but the idea is to put it on a table and be able to look through the clear glass top while you're meddling through the armholes.
 

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