At 7am this morning I could not contain myself anymore and ran into the garage to visit Dolly. All of the eggs were underneath her as usual. As quickly as I could, I took care of the rest of the flock and put Dolly in the large run with her family, I headed in to visit the eggs.
Yesterday, I candled all of the eggs once more. From some eggs, I could hear a faint scratching noise against the shell. In others, I heard nothing. I was so reassured after the candling. All of the eggs, except number one, were almost completely dark with a very small air space. Number one, did not progress much further than 10 days. I can only assume that there was something wrong with the embryo. I removed it from the nest.
|Goodbye Number 1|
I was now visiting eggs 3-9. Dolly still had 7 chances for chicks. I quickly searched for egg number 3. Since it was the oldest and it had been 21 days, I was hoping for signs of life. As I picked up egg number 3, I could hear the faintest “cheep, cheep, chip”. All of the other eggs remain quiet for now. I brought the egg inside the house and showed the kids. They were unable to contain their excitement!
I went out to the large run. Dolly must have known. She actually leaped in my arms when I said, “Dolly, eggs!” I quickly returned her to the nest and headed into my son’s school for a presentation.
I returned home around 11am. I rushed to see Dolly. I could hear chirping from the nest. I looked underneath and all eggs were unchanged. However, I could hear peeping from underneath Dolly! I gently looked at egg number 3. The eggshell remained intact. However, I could not mistake the tapping sounds from within. I hope to have baby number one by this evening.
As for the rest of the eggs, their introduction was staggered over a three day period. In nature, a broody hen will lay an entire clutch of eggs over the course of 8-12 days. It is at that point, that she incubates the eggs. Some eggs will hatch before day 21 and others will be late. I hope that all of Dolly’s eggs hatch over the weekend. We are truly blessed and amazed as we witness the miracle of life unfold before our very eyes.
Photo credit: Tilly’s Nest