Eggs for Poppy, 2013 – the addition

December 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Despite giving a damn  fine impression of being broody – bok-boking, bristling, shrieking at me when I look at her on the nest – Lily has laid another egg. Which isn’t usual for a broody hen. Mind you, she’s not staying in the nest for long periods either, so she’s not quite committed to broodiness yet. (Which is good.) But it did create a slight dilemma: an extra egg which probably has the best chance of being viable of any of hers that we’ve kept. So I decided that one more egg shouldn’t be a problem for Poppy, and slipped it under her last night. It’s normal for the hatch to be spread out over 36 to 48 hours anyway, so it should have every chance of being hatched. But it does mean that I need to add a new row to my table:

Egg Date Parentage  Laid Weight   Set Weight
13  8/12/13  Lily x Patrick 59 g 59 g #13 – Lily, 8/12

I thought it might also be interesting to include a couple of photos of the ovascope. Y’ know, just because. (The egg in question is a Charlotte, not the new one of Lily’s. And the slight shine is condensation – I got it out of the fridge to photograph.)

Ovascope set-up Ovascope – light’s on!

You can see an arc of reflection in the mirror behind and to the left of the egg in the first picture. It’s angled to bounce the image of the egg up the scope to the eyepiece. (You can see the reflection of the illuminated egg below and to the left of the egg in the second photo.) Having the eyepiece offset from the light means that you don’t risk blinding yourself by looking directly at the LED (ours is the super-bright one, designed to be able to see through even the darkest of eggs, but even the normal one can damage your vision if you look directly into it). It also means that you can see the whole egg – the light comes in from the bottom, but the mirrors are lined up to give you a side view, and rotating the egg (it’s on a little scrolling turntable) gives you full visibility from all sides. It really is very nifty (even if heinously expensive), and should mean we can candle the eggs virtually in situ, rather than the usual faffing (with me having to climb into a cupboard and use a torch, a toilet roll inner, and some carefully arranged duct tape). And the other important thing is that it’s a comparatively cool source of light – using a normal torch risks overheating the embryo.

Don’t know if I’ll manage to photograph any of the eggs at candling, but I will try to. It just takes a bit of fuss to get the camera on a tripod lined up with the eyepiece properly. But if I do some practice with everything beforehand, I should be able to come up with a moderately sane system. I guess we’ll see in seven days’ time!

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