Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Turkeys and Guineas

My dad has had 8 turkey eggs and 29 guinea eggs (one of them broke during shipping) in his incubator for several weeks. They were scheduled to begin hatching on Friday morning, and we've had it on our calendar to be there to witness the hatching.

But then yesterday evening, Dad happened to notice that one of the little guinea eggs had already hatched. He wasn't quite ready for that -- it was about 72 hours early -- but he went ahead and pulled the rest of the eggs off the turner (that rotates the eggs just as a mother bird would do) just in case. By this morning there were 6 or 7 little guineas. We were on alert, trying to figure out schedules in case it looked as though we needed to drop everything and go before we missed them all. Micah had already made it quite clear that he would be very upset with me if he missed them all.

Then around 9:30 this morning, Mom called to say that some more guineas had hatched, and there was one turkey out and another one close behind. I had just found out and broken the sad news to the boys that Grace was not going to be able to come play with us today. But it ended up working out -- we were able to pretty much just jump in the car and go to Glen Rose!

When we got there, there were about 11 guineas and still just the one little turkey. Conner and Micah ran right in to the incubator. They were so excited.

Joey got pretty into it, too. Several times he spent a while with his little face pressed up against the glass, just saying "ooooh!" He was so sweet to make sure that MeeMaw got in on the action, too.The second little turkey egg that Mom had told us about when she had called hadn't made much progress. His little egg had a big crack in it, but that was all.(It's the egg just below and to the right of the little guinea.)

Throughout the day, we would check on the "babies." We actually saw three guineas as they were coming out of their eggs, one of them pretty much exploded out. It was cool. That little turkey though...he was working so hard, rocking that egg back and forth! His beak was sticking out and we could hear him cheaping. He was the loudest little guy in there.

In Dad's research, he's learned that you should not help a bird hatch. If they are not strong enough to get out of the egg on their own, there is something wrong and they won't make it anyway. This little bird though, he seemed so strong, just maybe caught on something. Dad gave in and snuck his hand in there to pick part of the shell off for the little guy. He quickly made it the rest of the way out of the egg after that. It was pretty neat. We'll have to see just how hard-and-fast that tidbit of research was...

(It's the egg at the bottom of the picture. The yellowish part at the top of the egg is the turkey coming out.)

We've told the boys, but I don't know if they really understand -- the plan is to eventually eat most of these little guys. Micah kept telling me that the birds had to hatch so that they could eat and grow. When I asked him why they had to grow, he said it was so that we could eat them. "And what are we going to do with the chickens that are in your "playhouse?" "Dip them in white (Ranch dressing)!"

Fun, fun. Thanks Mom and Dad!


Heather said...

That's so neat how your boys enjoy it so much! My mom got sucked in by seeing your dad's incubator and low and behold, last time we went to her house, she had an incubator with eggs. I'm sure Reed will love it when they hatch.
But, my favorite part of the post is Micah!! Dipping the chicken in Ranch dressing - you've raised that boy right! :)

BooBoo said...

Thanks for rearranging your day. Enjoyed the day with you and your little guys. Pretty fun, precious stuff!
Love you, MOM pfu,wpfy

Gammie said...

How cool! Let's just wait and see if they are really okay with dippin "their" chickens in ranch.

Heidi said...

Micah's comment cracks me up! I don't think I could eat them if I had seen them hatch....that's why I stick with boneless, skinless breasts from the store...and sometimes that grosses me out!

Amanda Brooke Kilgore said...

What a great way to entertain the boys. It is a little sad for me, though, to think about you guys eating them... That's the circle of life - I suppose. And Micah DOES have a good point: Ranch dressing makes everything even better! (so does ketchup)