Friday, 10 April 2009
Last week my mind was focused mostly on Annie and lambing. This week I am preoccupied with eggs ....both of the eating and hatching kind.
All the hens apart from the cream legbars have come into lay. I find myself making frequent trips to the nest box in an attempt to identify who lays which egg. Think I've sussed it. Now that I have the quantity of eggs I have been wishing for I need to think of different ways of using them all ! Also to start finding a market for them.
Hatching eggs....well the broody goose is down to 5 now with only a week to go. If I had thought she was going to sit for the full term, also if we had really wanted goslings I would have done things differently. As it was I just let her get on with it. This meant that she wasn't separated from the older goose, who has been laying her eggs in the same nest.This has resulted in broken eggs.
Today we gently lifted the broody off her nest to check the eggs.Two that were obviously fresh i.e the older goose', we removed, marked and placed in some straw in a new shelter.Hoping the grey goose may adopt this site and leave the young one to hatch successfully. The other eggs we gently shook, any that 'rattled' we took away.This left only 5.
We then gently placed the young goose on the ground for her to make her own way back onto the nest. You should never replace a bird straight back onto the eggs as she is likely to damage them, always best to let her find her own way back.
The incubator eggs....I am new to hatching hens eggs in an incubator.We have always used a broody before. I think all is going well. Two that were obviously clear after 7 days I removed. Today I candled them again to check the air sac for humidity levels...think I'm on the right track. A few of the eggs look different to the rest, so I am wondering if they have stopped developing. I am not confident or experienced enough to be sure, so have left them in the incubator for the time being. I am fairly sure they won't hatch though. I am a little disappointed as I always unrealistically want perfection.
In approximately 9 days I will know both the outcome of the goose eggs and of the hatching eggs.
Just a quick mention today the swallows arrived. I thought I saw a solitary one about ten days ago but today there were many, swooping and chattering. Always a delight to see.