I had already set the incubator with all of the eggs I had gathered for the hatch. February 4, 2012 was hatch day. It was done. I was pleased with the progression. I was moving onto the next thing.
The next “thing” just happened to be rotating the hens. My master plan is to cycle two hens at a time through the honeymoon suite with Mr. Fantastic (our rooster). I don’t keep the hens with the rooster all the time, because, well, let’s face it. Roosters are hard on hens. And since I don’t need fertilized eggs all the time, we keep them separated.
So anyway, I gathered up the two hens that had just spent a month visiting Mr. F and put them back into the hen house. They were marked with white paint on their tails to make sure I could tell them apart from the hens that hadn’t visited our boy yet. Our hens basically all look identical. It’s the reason I haven’t named them. It’s kind of weird because they are all very sweet and normally I would call them by name, but I haven’t worked that all out yet. So I call them all Chickie and a little paint now and then on the tail, helps me to figure out what I’m doing. But I digress.
I grabbed two fresh hens and off we went back to the rooster pen. I put them in and watched to see how they settled in. In the meantime, I checked the nesting box and feeders and did some general housekeeping. That is when I spotted The Egg.
As I mentioned already, I had set the eggs and fired up the incubator the day before. 3 nice rows of 6 eggs each. My numeric OCD was happy. I love that chicken eggs take exactly 3 weeks to hatch. Set on a Saturday to be hatched on a Saturday. The planets were aligned perfectly.
Even though the temps outside had been below freezing
(and I knew some of the incubating eggs were likely not viable due to exposure) this particular egg had just been laid prior to the hens being moved. It was still warm. It was probably fertile. But what to do with it? 19 eggs in the incubator?? Are you kidding me? That is a prime number! Sitting in a row by itself? And hatching all alone?? Good grief. I broke out in a
sweat just thinking about it!
So I did the most unsensible thing I could think of. I carefully picked up the egg, marched it right into the house, wrote “Lucky” on it, put it in the incubator alongside the others and said a little prayer.
Lucky hatched out safe and sound a day later than her brothers and sisters and gave me a special gift in the process. She brought the total hatch number to 6 in this batch. A nice even number! Thank you Lucky!!
And now you know…the rest of the story! :)
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