We sell fresh eggs by the dozen, so the carton on the counter that was holding a beautiful dozen and a half raised question in Mikes mind.
It was the usual rushed Sunday morning: get ready for church, do chores, get the kids ready, pack up the eggs for Sunday deliveries and so on. Mike and I were in the kitchen refilling our coffee when he noticed my larger than normal egg carton on the counter.
“What ‘cha doin’ with those eggs?”
Without making eye contact I turned and faced the coffee pot, concentrated on pouring my next cup and mumbled “I’m going to put them in the incubator.”
I could hear him sigh and I’m sure he shook his head too. “Why?”
“I would like a few more laying hens before winter.”
He left it at that and we continued on with our morning. – For the record they waited for us to start mass that Sunday too! or we made it on time for once.
I haven’t counted hens lately but I think we are around the 20 mark or so. I’ve had to send a few to pasture for various reasons. I’d like to keep up the egg production through the winter and could use a few replacements…
There are no other animals on the farm that in 21 days can have babies running about. The cows are about 283 days, the goats are 150 days, the cat is 65 days, the ducks take 28 and the dogs are fixed (thank goodness!). That leaves the chickens, who produce a gathering of hatchable eggs every day that I can put in the incubator and have little, chirping, fluff balls in 3 weeks.
It’s an illness, an incurable disease really. I’m pretty sure Mike did say “in sickness and in health.” He’s been hanging in there pretty well… actually he’s an enabler most of the time.
Seriously, you give a gal an incubator you might as well expect it to be used to it’s full potential each season. I’ve got sense enough to not try and hatch eggs in January. There’s time to hatch in July yet. In three weeks we could potentially hatch 2 dozen chicks (I had another carton started.) 20 weeks from then will be the beginning of December at which time they will start laying eggs just in time for Christmas baking! Talk about timing!