Well, in our house...it's the egg! Or at least we hope it is...and as of Wednesday we have reason to believe that the project that started here with just the hope of fertilized eggs in our little styrofoam incubator has turned into living, growing, baby chicks.
Day 7 of our little eggs' lives presented the first opportunity to "candle" our babies and though we couldn't see through the dark mahogany of our Black Copper Marans we were able to see veins and a little black dot in 5 out of our 14 eggs (hopefully we just couldn't see the others yet, but they're still growing.) It was kind of amazing because while we were taking this photo I had to hold very still and all of a sudden the black dot began to dance around on its own!
Marans (very rare), 3 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Golden Polish, 3 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 1 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, and 3 Wheaten Penedesenca...truthfully we only have 2 WPs after last night.
Yes, we've had our first casualty. It started as a slightly foul odor upon opening the incubator and after I sniffed every single egg (man, it's like I'm a real farmer) I discovered that one WP just didn't smell right and rather than risk it blowing up and contaminating the rest of our eggs we decided we should throw it out. But of course, me being the "scientific" type I just had to crack it open (kind of heart breaking since I had been turning this puppy 3+ times a day for 10 days). We found a very yucky smelling substance that no longer resemebled an egg...it seemed as though it was ALL yoke...but there was no blood or sign of any growth and I think that means it was either a) not fertilized or b) "scrambled" in delivery. Either way I'm happy we detected it early and that I didn't have to see the beginnings of a baby chick when we broke it open. The sad news is that I think there's another one "going bad" (another WP) and I'm a little worried about what the next couple of days will be like...but I'm encouraged by the growth we saw in at least 5 of them and I'm looking forward to another "chicken ultrasound" this coming Wednesday.
Thanks for following us on our chicken adventure. This coming weekend we have a class courtesy of Seattle Tilth that we're looking forward to and are in the process of figuring out what kind of coup we'll have/make when the chickens are ready!
I also wanted to mention where we got our eggs: mypetchicken.com. I have loved using them thus far and would highly recommend them for products and information if you're interested in raising backyard chickens! Although if you can find someone local through craigslist or the like you'll avoid the risk of something going wrong during shipping.