I have been extraordinarily fortunate: A friend has given me 27 Basque Hen eggs from his young flock. They are a beautiful group of birds, and I am thrilled at the possibility of having some of their offspring.
These eggs are from young pullets new to laying. For that reason, the eggs are “pullet eggs” and are still small. The resulting chicks will also be very small, but in poking around about it, most people say that they catch up to their hatch mates in time. My main concern is that the chicks do not grow too large for their eggs. I am keeping the humidity low and monitoring air cells because I want to err on the side of large air cells rather than small.
Because it is so late in the year, I’ve moved my incubator from the dining room to the bedroom to take advantage of the steady temperature provided by the air conditioner. I am shielding the incubator from direct sunlight and direct air conditioned air with curtains and insulating further with towels to keep it as steady as possible. So far, the temperature has held between 99.3 and 99.9 degrees at 27 to 29 % humidity. I set the eggs on Saturday evening, and today is day 3. So far, so good.
I happened to have a very insistently broody Welsummer hen. I decided to let her sit on 4 of the EO eggs. Having tried and failed to have a broody in a separate pen and closed into a nest box, I have this hen in a dog crate in the main coop. I pick her up once a day and set her outside. After a few moments, she has a bit of a walk-about, drinks some water, and gets something to eat. So far, she’s gone right back into the crate to sit on the right eggs every time, and because it is not a normal nesting box position, no one else has tried to take her place.
Day 3. Just 18 days left to go!