Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Day 18

"What", I hear you say, "are you rattling on about?"

Today is day 18. Eighteen days ago I set a dozen eggs in an very basic incubator and every day they have been manually turned to give the embryos the best chance of development. Today the turning stops and, if all is well, in three days time we will hear cheeping and see the first signs of hatching. The old adage Don't count your chickems 'til they've hatched really applies here. I have carefully tended the clutch but there are so many things that can go wrong and Saturday could be anywhere on the scale of complete failure to success.

If the little buggers hatch we then have to wait and watch them develop until we can work out which are hens and which are cockerels. This will take about six or seven weeks. Welsummers are a laying strain that means that the cockerels are not going to give much of a carcass. So even if I have a successful hatch I could still end up with a high proportion of cockerels that have minimal value as meat birds.

On the work front, I was back in the war room with Tigger and Christopher Robin. Once again we sliced and diced the numbers and interrogated the bunnies and weasels in our attempts to get things back in shape. We appear to have had a successful day but there is still much to do. At the same time it has become apparent that this is a very different beast from that we started hunting and, if are lucky enough to have a head to hang on the wall, this one is not going to be one that will take pride of place over the fireplace.

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