Eggs for Poppy, 2013
December 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
Yesterday afternoon we put the eggs under Poppy. Hooray!
Because both Poppy and Lily have been broody (or broodyish, in Lily’s case) since early last week, we weren’t quite as well-stocked with viable eggs as I would have liked. In theory you want everything to be less than 7 days old; definitely nothing older than 14 days. Unfortunately I only had six Lily eggs anyway, and one of them was too thin-shelled to be a good option. Which left me with five eggs from her, one of which dates back to the 20th of last month … Oh well. The great irony is that it had the best shell of any of them. We will see how it goes.
But how, I here you ask, did I know about shell thicknesses? Simple – I used my new toy, the Ovascope.
We bought it when Mirri was starting to look broody. It’s a nifty candling unit, with a super high-power LED light mounted underneath a little egg plinth, with a black plastic contraption that covers it all and uses mirrors to give you a clear view of the inside of the egg, even in bright sunlight. And there’s a little dial that rotates the egg, so you can see all the way round it. It’ll mostly be useful when we candle the eggs at days 7 and 14, but is helpful at this stage to check whether any of the eggs have tiny cracks or areas of weakness that are likely to compromise the egg’s viability. As you can see:
This first one is a Charlotte egg, laid only an hour or so earlier. (And no, not one we’re setting. Comparison only.) You can see that the shell looks nice and solid and even. The airsack (top bright spot) is tiny, and the yolk (darker bit at the bottom) looks good. This next egg is a Lily – same colour shell, but you can see that there’s a brighter, mottled section of towards the bottom. This is a thin patch of shell (not good), but it’s not too bad overall. (Egg #7, in case you’re curious.) Then we have a Poppy egg, #1. The shell is darker overall than either Lily’s or Charlotte’s, but you can see that it’s also much more mottled in appearance. In an ideal world you would probably discard this one – you really want as solid and intact a shell as possible. But given that Poppy is a six year old hen, we really have to just take the best of what we have, and keep our fingers crossed. (It is actually a decent shell. Just not perfect.) This last example is one of Poppy’s that we discarded. It looks a bit weird from the outside, although you wouldn’t necessarily think too much about it. But put it in the Ovascope and it’s a different matter altogether – you can see the line of cracking quite clearly. As we had nine recent Poppy eggs to choose from, discarding this was a no-brainer.
Below in the table is the list of all the eggs, with the usual details. Some of the eggs are a few grams lighter now (at point of setting) than they were when I weighed them on the day they were laid. No idea if it’s relevant, but I figure it’s mildly interesting to know, so that’s why there are two weights given. Date is the date the eggs were laid. As you can see, we’re setting six eggs from Poppy, five from Lily and one from Gabby. Clicking on the thumbnail will open a larger photo.