We're having babies!

Candling one of Bernadette's eggs after one week.
Last Tuesday I had chicken duty and noticed that Bernadette, one of our barred rock chickens, was missing. I looked around thinking she had simply stayed outside of coop overnight, but she was gone. Later that day I saw her alongside the other birds; but the next morning she was missing again. 

We found her next to the farm stand, sitting on a nest of nine eggs! After discussing all the pros and cons of letting her sit it out or hatching the eggs in an incubator, we decided to incubate the babies ourselves. We took a roadtrip out to Agway in Lafargeville and picked up an incubator with fan and automatic egg turner. 

It took about 12 hours for us to get the optimal 99.5-degree temperature in the incubator with 50- to 60-percent humidity. Once we were ready, Nicole and I scared Bernadette of the eggs and herded her into her coop, where she could relax and un-brood (a task that took overnight: By morning, she was back to normal). 

Eggs in hand, we loaded the incubator; along with a bunch of eggs from the other chickens (freshly laid).

After a week of carefully checking the heat and humidity, we candled the eggs to see if any of them were developing into baby birds. Out of all of them, we think only two are not fertilized.

Stay tuned for Week Two!!