Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eggciting News!!

We have some eggciting news around here! We are going to have grandchickens! "But Kara, you don't have roosters. How are you having grandchickens?", you ask. I know, I know. I will tell you our story. Before I broke my foot Daisy had starting sitting in a nest box a lot. She started out just sleeping there, which is odd. The girls usually sleep on a roost. She slowly started spending more and more time sitting in a nest box on a little lonely egg of her own or borrowing an egg that someone else laid. We would always gather the eggs so that she didn't have anything to sit on, but she insisted on staying in a nest box. Thus, we had a broody chicken. You call them broody when they start behaving like this, wanting to have chicken babies and sitting on a nest.

We tried to deter her. I put ice packs under her to start with. When going broody a hen raises her body temperature to incubate the eggs. So I essentially was trying to cool her down. She didn't take notice. Then I broke my foot. Edith took that as her clue to start sitting in the nest box too. Two broody hens? No way. Dave locked them out of their nesting area so that they couldn't get to a nest box. The two hens didn't want to give it up!! They waited for the door to be opened. Edith eventually gave, but Daisy started making a nest on the ground. We opened the door and she took back to the nest.

Once I was able to walk I started thinking that we needed to do something for our insistent momma. She didn't know that her eggs wouldn't make babies since there was no rooster to fertilize them. I talked to my relative James that I help out at the Marietta Square Farmer's Market. He has chickens. Many more than I do. I asked him if he could provide me with fertilized eggs and sure enough he did.

Here are the fertilized eggs in the nest. I marked them with pencil. Some other chickens like to lay eggs in the nest with each other. I needed to be able to tell them apart.  Dave placed the eggs on Tuesday night this last week. So, we should have baby chickens on August 10th or 11th!
Here is Daisy all fluffed up trying to distract me from her nest. 

And here she is all fluffed up on the nest. She fluffs up to make herself look bigger and distract you from her nest. She also squeals at you. It is kind of funny. Some chickens get really mean while they are on a nest. Daisy still lets me reach under her, although she squeals at me and fluffs up like this. I think she ultimately knows that I am not going to hurt her or her nest. 

I candled some eggs last night. This is when you look at an egg in the dark with a very bright small light to to see inside the egg. There are babies growing!! Good job Daisy.

Our eggs look something like this right now when candled. You can see the veins. The small red blob is the embryo! I will try to find more photos to post and will keep you updated! The time is going to fly by!


Joy said...

How fun! I really wish we were close to ready for chickens because I'd love to give your grandchicks a home - that is, unless you're keeping them. Are you?

You and Dave need to come over soon and talk chicken coops! I have a copy of "Raising Chickens" that I'm going to read on vacation. We'll have much to discuss.

Kara said...

Joy, they won't be ready to leave the warmth of mama for 6 weeks or so!!! They could still be yours. We haven't decided what we will do with the chicks. We'll cross that bridge when we get there and see how this whole process goes!

meemsnyc said...

Ooooh, that is so exciting! Can't wait to see pics of the baby chicks in August.

Jo said...


Jacoline said...

Eggciting indeed. I'll follow the process through your blog, so keep posting!

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