Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Incubation Efforts

I have seven new eggs in the incubator.  They should hatch the week of the 21st.

And, I'm also experimenting with the natural method of chickbirth.  Meagan's boss (the one who told us about teaching the chicks to eat) told her that the way to get hens to start brooding is to just leave the eggs in the nest.  When they get a "clutch", they'll start sitting on them. 

I'm not certain how many eggs a hen considers to be a clutch or if chickens can count or if they just look at them and think, "um, that's about enough".  But, in my mind about a dozen sounds about right.  So, I took all of the eggs from two days, which happened to be twelve and put them in one of the chicken's favorite nesting boxes.  I didn't do it all at once...just added them one by one as I found them.

It has been three days and so far, we have seen no evidence of brooding.  All the hens seem to be doing is adding to the nest.  There were 14 eggs in the nest today.  I took out one that was just sitting on top of the others because I felt pretty confident that it had just been laid, but I couldn't remove the thirteenth egg because I'm not sure if any of them have started to develop or not.

Tom suggested that I mark them so I'll know which ones are new and Meagan suggested I mark them so that I'll know if a hen is turning them.  So, I guess tomorrow morning, before a hen can get in there and lay another egg, I'll mark them with a pencil. 


PumpkinPie said...

Question: how long can you leave an egg after it's been hatched and still be able to eat it? Someone told me that a doz eggs from the store can be left at room temp for a few days before they go bad. What about the ones I get straight from the farmer?

Mosaics said...

Well, you wouldn't want to eat an egg after it's been hatched because it would then be a chick. ;)

But, eggs, after they have been laid, will last quite a long time and still be edible. Sometimes, I'll forget and leave mine out on the counter for a couple of days, then put them in the refrigerator and they're still good to eat even a week or two - maybe more - after that. I've read that the eggs in the store are at least 10 days old already and I've used them up to a month or so after I bought them.

So, I really don't have a "number" answer as to how many days or weeks they'll keep. But you can tell if an egg is getting old by putting it in water (still in the shell). If the egg stands on end (big end up), it's not quite fresh, but still edible. If it totally floats, it's old and stale and I wouldn't eat it.

PumpkinPie said...

Ooops, ha ha, glad you knew what I meant anyway. Hatched! Geesh. I think I meant 'laid'. I would never eat a little chick :) They would outrun me anyway.
Thanks for the info on the shelf life of an egg. I should write it out on a post-it and put it up on a cupboard for reference purposes.