Image by gbaku via FlickrWe have fertile eggs!!! I am so excited by this I feel like an awaiting mother!
Friday when I went to make Sol eggs for breakfast I noticed this little hopeful thing,this moment of excitement, a little white blob on the yokes of the eggs that looked just like a frogs egg.YES!!!! Our beautiful Ameraucana Roster Zeph was doing his job. The dream of having our own little chicks peeping around the coop,snuggled under their Mama's wing,oh the wonderful-ness of it.
Later that morning one of the hens was doing her "I laid an egg" crow. I don't get it when the hens randomly decide to do this crazy clucking announcing the laying of an egg.Why is it that some days it is something to cackle about? It's not like the hens don't lay all the time.Back to things, once the hen was done with her happy dance, Chance and I went out to check for eggs and see what the fuss was all about.One of the girls was still sitting.This happens,we are ready to collect the eggs but the hens are not done doing their job.This was when I brought up the fertile egg business to Chance.I had not said one word to Sol since I wanted him to eat his breakfast without any complaints.Chance had been at work at breakfast time so it was good news to his ears too.
I am going to side track right here. I know someone out there is wondering about eating fertile eggs and how I can eat something that has the beginnings of a life. This is how it works.First and foremost you must have a rooster to have fertile eggs that grow into chicks.A hen can lay her eggs without there being a rooster,just like a lady can go about her monthly business without a man being around.That's basic biology right? Now once you have eggs that are fertile you can eat them,I would not have fed them to Sol if you could not. The trick is not to let one of your hens set them,meaning you have to collect the eggs diligently so some hen dose not go broody and refuses to get up off the clutch of eggs. But what about the fertility of the egg and what is Broody?
The now fertile eggs will not grow a chick if the hen is not setting on the egg.The eggs need to be warm for things to start growing a chick.That is why once you know you have fertile eggs you need to collect them (if you don't want chicks.) and put them in the fridge.Putting the eggs in the fridge stops the chick from growing.It will take a hen a few days to lay her whole clutch of eggs so the eggs are able to be in kind of a holding pattern for a few days until Mama is ready to set.
Going Broody for a hen is like when a pregnant lady gets those nesting feelings, the hens instincts kick in and all she wants to do is set on her eggs.Hens don't have to have a rooster around to go broody,some never do go broody and sometimes when you want them to go broody they won't.If you have broody hen without a rooster around you just keep taking her off the nest and taking the eggs until she gets the clue that chicks are not happening. They get REALLY cranky with you so watch out for snapping beaks.
So Chance found the hen was still sitting and he was filled in on the fertile eggs, what next? We talked it over.We would love to have our own chicks that was certain. I had already asked my Dad how to encourage the hens to set so I had a plan set up already for this very day.
I had to go to work but Chance would be home so we could put my plan to action! Opportunity was clucking at our door and like always we got busy. The plan was for Chance to come back later in the day to check on the hen and the eggs. If she was still setting Chance would carefully steal her eggs one by one,mark them with a pen with an "X" and put them back under the hen.If no one was sitting Chance would still mark the eggs and leave them in the nest box. The "X" on the eggs was to let us know which ones not to take.We plan on letting 6-8 of them to collect in the nest and take the others for eating. Then we just have to wait and see what happens.Hopefully one of the girls will get the idea and set,I have no clue how long we should give the hens but I am going to call my Dad for the next set of steps.I know it takes 21 days for eggs to hatch but from which day you start your counting is a missing bit of information this morning.Logically I think it would be 21 days from the day the hen starts to set full time.
***** Egg count update,We now have 6 eggs marked and waiting.*****
I am kind of geeking out here over this whole thing.Wow ,we get to try something new and so hopeful.And here I am writing about the fertility in the Spring time none the less and it has reminded me how inner connected all lives truly are.Our basic biology is so much the same wither you are an animal or a human being. Mothers go through these cycles and have these instincts that are rudiment-ally the same,grow the new life, protect,feed and teach that life.It reminds me we are all Gods creatures one and all.
Today is a beautiful sunny Sunday.I am not too sure what the day will hold.I hear the sunshine calling to me to come out and work in the yard but I also hear the indoor work calling my name.This coming Friday our Issac will have surgery number 6 in 2 years! He will be having his Gallbladder removed,a common problem when you have Crohn's. We are not too worried about the surgery but I do worry about the post-op,Issac's last surgery was a rough post-op and once that happens it can become a trend.The one thing I don't worry about is Issac's spirits through this whole thing.That child of mine is the most positive minded soul , it wow's me.His thought is if I go into surgery saying I'll be fine and things will be good than they will.End of story.
So I suppose I will balance out my day between in and out doors. Indoor work so we will be prepared for the hospital trip and outdoor work to feed my soul and to collect my strength.
One last thing,yesterday I was honored with a visit at work by one of my followers.A heavenly surprise during a busy day! Thanks for stopping and saying hello! Dear Follower,talk about fertility,chicks and you!