It was a very exciting night at Double Brook Farm. In the barn, we have a new operation: the turkey hatchery. This consists of two large incubators and some small pens with wood shavings and heat lamps. We are a few days away from the time that the poults should really start hatching, but Jon went out to check on the eggs like a good mother hen…
Well, he comes running back into the house, out of breath, yelling “get your camera!!!” So, I head over to see what’s happening. And there it is, an egg moving about with the beginnings of an escape route for Turkey #1.
I don’t know about you, but it seemed to me that there was not enough room for the turkey to break free. It kept pushing that flap against the other egg, which was pinned against the side. As you might imagine, this led to a whole discussion, as so often happens when a ‘real farmer’ (Jon) encounters a ‘city slicker’ (me) and has to explain the due course of nature.
Jon claimed that this is how the eggs are situated in the nest and that we have to let nature take it’s course. But I argued that, in nature, there wouldn’t be a hard plastic surround keeping all the eggs wedged together. Romeo joined the discussion as we walked back to the house.
Jon also said that, in nature, the mother hen would bunch the eggs together, even after one had hatched, for protection. But, I further complained, then the eggs would be turned and rolled in different positions so they would be better able to break free. And back and forth and back and forth until Jon really couldn’t take it anymore (me: “what if we come in in the morning and find him dried up and almost out but just WEDGED in so tight that he never had a chance???” him: “then, that’s what was supposed to happen” me: “then why are we raising them inside in the first place, why not just let the eggs stay with the hens?” him: “because, ok, well, that’s it, I’ll move that egg, but I really shouldn’t”) and had to go check on the eggs once again.
Again, a breathless return and shouts to get the camera. Nature had, in fact, taken its course!
And like a proud papa, Jon cleaned up the eggshells and said “Ok, he’s out. Let’s turn off the lights and let him sleep.”