Saturday, March 29, 2008

vicarious gestation

I suppose vicarious incubation would be more accurate, since we're talking about eggs here. I actually ordered them months ago from a Silkie breeder in Florida, but then chickened out (so to speak) when I realized that - duh - I'd be trying to raise baby chicks at the coldest time of year. Fortunately, the lady was willing to put off the egg shipment until earlier this week.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson at this same time last year when we had five chicks living in the kids' bathtub, but I'm nothing if not stubborn. So, there's an incubator with 21 eggs inside set up in the master bedroom. I find myself obsessively checking the hygrometer to make sure the humidity level inside the incubator is where it's supposed to be (it never is, because - hello? I live in Arizona). How chickens were ever introduced into this climate I'll never know.

And it's not just humidity and temperature levels I'm obsessing about lately. Did you know the eggs need to be turned on a regular basis (i.e. several times per day?) In the absence of a good, broody hen who will get up off the clutch of eggs to do this instinctively (we have good hens here but not broody ones at the moment), you can buy automatic egg turners which will do this work for you. But was I going to take the easy route through this process? No, sirree. So, I've been turning the eggs several times per day by hand instead, starting first thing in the morning and ending last thing at night before bedtime. The husband found me groggily turning the little darlings right after I woke up this morning. "Aren't you supposed to do that with your beak?" he asked. Har.
Anyway, hopefully, I'll have much fluffy cuteness to share in a few weeks. Until then, I'm just hoping no disasters happen - like power surges and exploding eggs (which is possible, and what better way to become a total insomniac?).

1 comment:

  1. Why are they different colors? It was a great surprise to see your blog this morning - thx :-)