It was a welcome surprise to spy a duck egg in the coop this morning – research online and in books indicated that Muscovies can take as long as 7 to 9 months to lay their first egg, and that if it’s winter when they would normally start laying, they may skip laying entirely until spring. We have four ducks and a drake, about 6 months old now. Even better, when we went to retrieve the egg, we realized that there were actually 3…another 2 were almost completely hidden in the straw at the back of the nest box areas. The hidden eggs were pretty dirty – caked with mud from the ducks’ feet due to all the recent rain – but were perfectly fine and delicious when we had them for breakfast. We look forward to many more duck eggs from the girls (who are now earning their keep)…and will be checking daily for those eggs!
Last night, we candled the chicken eggs we had set in the new incubator about a week ago. Being newbies to incubating eggs, we read up on it and reviewed many photos of fertile/developing eggs versus clear/non-developing ones. Having read accounts of exploding rotten eggs making stinky infectious messes in incubators, we wanted to make sure we removed any that were obviously not progressing.
To our amazement, of the 24 we set, all 24 appeared to have some development! There were a couple where the development was less obvious than in others (the Brown Leghorns were 3 for 3, as were the Cuckoo Marans/Brown Leghorns – clearly, the rooster has been getting around), but we decided to leave those in for another week and re-candle. If the “iffy” ones don’t clearly show developing embryos at the 2-week mark, we’ll toss them then. For now, things are looking very promising. Also, having worked out the kinks with the incubator, it’s keeping the temperature and humidity steady, returning to optimal levels quickly even after opening it for candling or water channel refills. In a couple of weeks, we may have more chicks than we had predicted.