Chick-hatching time is drawing closer. Frodo has done so well sitting for longer than usual and with so many eggs. The Husband and I did the second candling session tonight, Day 17/16. We weeded out two more duds, which, thankfully, were actually duds. They were just runny, warm, slightly smelly egg. I think they were both two of the three we weren’t sure about last time. There was one other egg we weren’t entirely sure about this time. It looked like either it is slower-developing than the others or it has stopped developing, but hopefully the former, so we left it in. Now that three eggs have been discarded, all of them ‘posted eggs’ (no surprise after their misadventure), we’re down to 16. This is the only time I’m kind of relieved to have some dud eggs. It will lighten Frodo’s load and my load, and make things less tricky with eggs from three different sources… I was hoping one of the other hens would go broody so I could share the load by giving my own Lorelai and Sookie eggs to them, but I ruined my best shot, with Sookie, by putting her in the broody breaker briefly before I decided I did actually want a second broody hen. Ah well, we’ll keep it simple with one feisty mumma.

Tomorrow is Day 18, or Day 17 for the posted eggs. It is the last day I will get Frodo off the nest for her eat-drink-activity-poop break. There will be food and water in the Broody Coop for her if she decides to get off the nest herself. Traditionally, she suddenly gains the ability to get herself up one or two days before the eggs hatch, which makes me nervous, but she knows what she’s doing. Of the 16 eggs she is sitting on there are:

  • 8 Australorps
    • 6 from the Waikato breeder
    • 2 posted eggs from Northland
  • 8 Wyandotte x mostly-Australorp
    • 4 from Lorelai (silver laced W) x Mr Bingley
    • 2 from Sookie (Gold laced W) x Mr Bingley

And now, we wait. In less than a week there should be the pitter-patter of many tiny feet. Exciting!

DSCF3120 cropped
All sorts of funny business goes on when broody Frodo (far left) comes out for her break. Hens who get too close risk getting jumped on. Don’t mess with the mumma hen, guys. Non-committal semi-broody Georgiana (bottom left) gets puffy when Frodo comes out. Well, Georgiana, if you would sit for more than a few hours and not poop on your eggs at the end of it you could hatch some too. But no.
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