Saturday, February 21, 2009

A chicken in every pot

Chicken eggs incubate for 21 days. I was pretty sure by day 14 that we weren't going to get much if anything out of my first hatch. The Frizzle and Silkie eggs had been badly scrambled by the Post Office and my wildly varying temps in my old incubator couldn't have helped the other eggs much. Problem was I couldn't really candle the other eggs very well since they were all dark egg colors so I didn't know what was going on in there.
So day 21 came and went without so much as a peep from any of the eggs. In the meantime I'd gotten my new incubator and had filled it with eggs and had pinned all my hopes on the future hatch so I'd determined that I would throw the old eggs out on day 22. Yesterday the cat seemed quite interested in my incubator and a check revealed a newly hatched baby chick. Looks like an Easter Egg pullet and she's really strong and pretty. I decided well, maybe, the average temp was a little cool and slowed down hatch and I'd better give all those eggs another day. I checked almost every hour and nothing except a very noisy little baby chicken. Later in the day I thought I saw one of the brown eggs move but by bedtime there was nothing going on so I convinced myself that I'd been mistaken.
This morning I wanted to throw out the old eggs because I wanted to give the sole survivor of my hatch some more room to run around in the incubator. I gave all the eggs to Riss and told her to throw them out. She came back a few minutes later to show me an egg with a break in it's shell. Oh no, I almost threw out a baby! But surely all the moving around had killed it or perhaps it was the egg I saw yesterday and it had broken the shell yesterday and was dead now. So I broke EVERY rule of hatching and cracked the egg a little. And we hear "peep, peep." Everyone has been glued to the incubator all day waiting to see if the little one would live or not. I was pessimistic but late this afternoon I heard the loudest chirping ever and sure enough the little chick was working his way out of the egg. New chick is probably some kind of red chicken mixed with Wyandotte, probably a roo.
So the new question is.....can I throw out the old eggs NOW????

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Farm life

You know you live in a small, rural town when a herd of deer cross the street in front of you. There I was driving through my little four block long town and the whole herd of 35-40 Cervidae jump, bound, leap and amble across the road from the gas station driveway, past the liquor store and down the street to the police station. I smiled at the impatient driver coming from the other way, obviously on his way to work or some important place. Apparently, he's from a city.
Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe you're going a little overboard on the whole farm livestock thing? Everytime I see another variety of chicken or turkey I want to add it to the flock. I've ordered my Beltsvilles and Lavenders and plan to order some Midgets soon but I do so want some Palms and Bronze turks too. (sigh) Must practice patience grasshopper.
Tonight was tuna casserole. I think I have the only family in the world that actually asks for/begs for tuna casserole. Weird, weird people I live with. The secret is not cooking the noodles, using creamed corn and lots of cheese and a little sour cream never hurt nobody.
I made cookies today. Just plain ol' chocolate chip cookies to keep Adam happy. While I was making the dough Annie came over and put her little arm around me and said "I love you Mommy, you know why?" "Not a clue." "It's because you make such good cookies." Awwwwww. I told her "I love you because you think I make such good cookies." She didn't get it but that's okay.
Income tax should be here this Friday! Woot! Gonna spend me some money. Not really. We're paying off some bills, I'm buying my new incubator and we'll get some more supplies for the new poultry coop. That'll about do it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sick kids and hatching eggs

We had a little visitor come over to play with the youngest three kids last week. Noticed she was coughing when she came but she was upset because her horse was being put down so I didn't think about her being sick. But the day progressed as days do and the child was soon hacking pretty consistenly, not eating and laying around listlessly watching TV (she's always pretty hyper). So it's not like I didn't expect that we'd be ill this week. I pretty much saw the writing on the wall. Mikey was last up this morning and he's usually first. As soon as he got up he laid back down on the couch next to his two older hollow-eyed siblings. They all glanced at me without interest (no really, they usually are interested in me) when I checked to see if they were okay. With Annie's diabetes we are very vigilant about sickness because it really messes with her numbers. Luckily, in anticipation of this event I'd gotten some cold medicine for them and started dosing them accordingly. They're feeling better but now I feel like crap. Oh well, I'll be a good mother and say that I don't care if I'm sick so long as my children are okay.....Blah. Maybe I should be like Greg and just not kiss the kid all winter long for fear of coming away with something other than sucker slobber.
It's day seven for my hatching eggs so I got to candle them. For you city slickers, candling means you hold a bright, bright light up behind the egg and look through them to see the little embryo inside. Looks like at least 14 of the little Silkie and Frizzle eggs are growing little red spiders inside so in spite of my fluctuating temps and unstable, obsolete incubator I am growing babies as of right now. Who knows if I can bring them all the way though? The mutt eggs are mostly really dark colored so I can't see into them. There are five that are light colored and two of them have little red spiders in them so I guess I just wait to see if the rest are okay.
Wrote to my Mom about my candling and possible hatch. Sent her pics of the chickens and then complained about my ancient incubator. The woman is sending me money to buy a new incubator!!! She's all excited about my chickens and wants me to keep hatching. Just goes to show you that your family is always the worst at enabling your addictions.
Okay, blog updated. Everyone happy?