After seeing Call Ducks online I decided that we need to add some to our flock. I started an email campaign that ended up with a gentleman from Nova Scotia offering to ship me 12 eggs. Well, if we were going to add Call Ducks to our family we might as well make it an adventure. I happily paid him for the eggs and the shipping and he mailed them out via Canada post on a Monday morning by Thursday morning they were received on our end and 11 eggs went in to our incubator. 11 being all the eggs our incubator could hold I placed one under our broody hen Plum for safe keeping.
We weren’t the only ones Excited about the parcel….Our Basset Hound Ranger is a big fan of birds and loved the last two batches of chicks we hatched as if they were his own.
After carefully removing the eggs from their “nest” we candled them to make sure that they had in deed made it safely and that there were no cracks or flaws in the shells. They all passed inspection an into the incubator they went.
The first week went great and when we candled the eggs the start of the second week we were happy to see that 8 of the eggs were developing and discarded the 3 that weren’t. It was a few days later that we started to notice a faint odor coming from the incubator, something that with our chickens eggs never happened. I wrongly thought that it was the little bit of poop that was on the eggs that was starting to cook. The smell continued to get worse and got to the point that it could be smelled even when the incubator was closed. At this time we were mostly staying in at the Stampede and had come home the morning after the Big and Rich concert only to discover that the smell in the house was almost unbearable. I have to admit that after a night of indulging Budweiser that this was not a welcoming odor at all!!! I turned on all the air freshers in the house, opened the windows and took a couple Advil so that my head would stop throbbing enough that I could Google the solution to this awful problem.
It turns out the solution was and trust me I checked every website that came up on my search was to smell each egg individually. The odor was caused from an egg gone bad and if left the bacteria can grow to the point that the egg will explode and ruin the rest of the good eggs. Okay, now after of night of living like a rock star it was not only my head that was hurting but I wouldn’t say that my stomach was committed to holding on to its contents either. I had no volunteers to help me with my investigation, so I said a little prayer and set about discovering the culprit in the smell crime. Another thing that each website said that there will be no mistaken which egg is rotten, that when you smell the bad one you will know it for sure, oh goody! I remember thinking back to my younger days and how my dad would punish me if I miss curfew or was not feeling too “perky” the next morning by making me mow the lawn in the heat of summer, or help with yard work when all I wanted to do was crawl in to bed and sleep off the not fun part of having a fun night out. Seriously, sniffing for rotten eggs when your hungover is not recommend if it can be avoided, which in my case it couldn’t.
Time to bare down and get it done. Meggie and I took the eggs in to the washroom as it is the only place in the house with no window so that we could candle the eggs as well. I picked up the first egg as if it have a ticking time bomb inside (which technically one or more of them did) and gingerly placed it close to my nose and sniffed, nope nothing no odor at all. Okay that’s one down 7 to go. I repeated the same method a few more times with the same result. I was almost starting to get complacent and thinking that Google had led me astray. On to egg number 7, by now my method had become quite bold and I would just pick the egg up and sniff it to get it over with. Now it is important to remember that the reason that you are smelling each one individually is because the rotten one will be VERY obvious……Sniff sniff “oh sweet mother of….” don’t panic I had found one of the bad ones. My stomach rolled dangerously close to losing everything, my eyes now watering and Meggie asking, “Is it bad?” Well that was an understatement!!!! My gag reflexes were now kicking in and I was left holding the darn thing because I was scared if I moved the bomb would go off. My Ninja like reflexes had totally abandoned me and I was left there trying to understand how something so little could smell sooooooo bad. I dispatched Meggie to go get a bunch of grocery bags and when she returned I very gently placed the egg inside them. There I lived through that (barely) and one more egg to go but I felt safe in the knowledge that the rotten one was safely contained in 8 layers of plastic, couldn’t be to safe when it came to keeping the smell confined. Sniff Sniff “oh sweet mother of……” gag reflexes displaying their strong desire to rid me of water I had slowly drank that morning, full on tears now running down my face, a second bad egg was found. It too was placed in the protective bags and I couldn’t help but wondered if they had ever considered rotten eggs as Eco friendly weapons of war. The rotten eggs confined in the bag, the other eggs were placed back in to the incubator to continue to develop which they were doing till two days ago when that oh so familiar smell started to creep out of the incubator. Not disabled this time I quickly went through and smelled the remaining six eggs and it did not take long at all to figure out which one it was.
We have now entered lock down on the 5 remaining eggs, this means that humidity is increased and that we stop turning the eggs as they prepare to hatch. They are due on Wednesday and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am. From all the research that I have done Call Ducks tend to have a hard time hatching and may require help. This will mean that from the first pip I won’t sleep but that’s okay because it has been a long 25 days to get to this point. I well make to update my blog and keep you posted on how they are making out.
Have A Beautiful Day