Damson Cottage Garden

August week 2… new eggs to hatch at home

Our lemon Pekin hatching eggs arrived this week – yippeeeeeee! Sadly our old Pekin, Dot, died a couple of weeks ago from old age (how many chickens get to do that?!) so we (mostly I!) chose lemon Pekins to be new additions to our little flock. I really like Pekins, they are round like little footballs, very fluffy and friendly. They lay small round-ish white eggs. Their only disadvantage is that they tend to become broody, but we are happy to put up with this.

We ordered our eggs from a breeder in Cambridgeshire who posted the eggs to us within 24 hours of the chickens laying them.

Fertile eggs delivered by post

Here they are in their polystyrene postal egg box.

Hatching eggs delivered by post

We had to leave the eggs to stand pointy side down for 24 hours before putting them in an incubator or under a broody hen. This lets the eggs settle after being moved around in the postal system. We decided to hatch our eggs in our incubator as none of our hens are broody at the moment.

While the eggs were having their 24 hour rest we turned on the incubator so it could warm up to the magic 37.5 C – the perfect temperature to incubate hen eggs. We also put water into a little well in the incubator as the eggs need a certain humidity (about 60%) to hatch. Expensive incubators have a way of measuring the humidity.

After a day’s rest, the eggs were marked with naughts and crosses (so we can make sure we are turning them properly) and were popped in the incubator.

Hatching pekin eggs

They will be turned over three times a day, until day 18 when the eggs have to stay still. In exactly 21 days the eggs will hatch – only 21 days to turn from a yolk and white into a fluffy, chirping, stumbling chick… amazing eggs! I will keep you posted on our eggy progress! You can check out our bantam Araucana egg hatching last year.

In the garden we have been counting our courgettes.

Growing courgettes

How are you getting on with the courgette challenge? Jane

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