The Magnificent Seven
October 28, 2008 § Leave a comment
We checked the last three eggs of Poppy’s clutch yesterday afternoon – water test, candling and listening. Nothing.
Two of the three look like they died before pipping – the airsack was still intact, but the rest of the egg was completely filled. The other looks like it had managed to pip into the airsack, but just hadn’t had enough energy to begin chipping out of the egg. ‘Tis sad, but one of those things that just happens. We’ll break the eggs open later and examine the contents to see if we can work out what happened.
One possibility is that the humidity was too low. We’re a bit paranoid about the chicks (and Poppy!) getting chilled, so we make sure the broody house is dry and watertight. The nest part is a deep pile of wood shavings/sawdust – also bone dry. So we may need to consider doing something to provide a bit of extra humidity – one suggestion you see in a few books is to use a square of turf under a small amount of straw or shavings. We might look at doing that next time round, see if it makes any difference. Or maybe just make sure we spritz the eggs with some warm water when the hen is off the nest having her constitutional – maybe just before she returns, so that the eggs get moistened and then warmed again straight away.
Love to hear suggestions from anyone out there who cares to offer them!