OK, so "awkward" might not be the right word.... "stupid" would probably be better. What events precipitated this blog post you might ask..... well, patience, friend... I'm about to take you through a day at Drowning Creek.
To the casual observer it would appear from our garden pics and Facebook posts that we know what we're doing. It's an illusion. A picture cleverly cropped to show the best view so no one sees the smoke and mirrors behind the scene. And generally, we only disclose what we want you to know.
A little background will help flesh this story out, so in the interest of full disclosure, Jeff grew up on a farm... the same farm we are working now and where his father (hereforth referred to as "the FIL"} ran a deer cooler or abattoir (slaughterhouse) where Jeff worked growing up. The old abattoir building now houses Drowning Creek Studio.
Me? I grew up on a gentleman's farm. We had cows, goats and a garden for a few years. My Granny was the OG Urban Homesteader (Jules Dervaes can suck it) and I never thought poop or other disgusting stuff would make myself or Jeff gag. Oh how very wrong that notion would prove to be.
In the last month we've had several of our hens go "broody." That means they get the wistful calling to sit on eggs and be mommies. Since it was Spring, we decided to let a few of them set. What we completely no-brained on was letting them set in the common area where the other hens would continue to lay eggs in the nesting boxes along side the eggs that the hens were trying to hatch. Not very smart on our part as marking the original eggs with a pencil would have saved us a lot of headaches, but I completely admit to being a poultry novice. I will ask the seasoned poultry folks for their forgiveness now for our ineptitude.
To make a long story short, we let the hens set until eggs started hatching. As the babies emerged from their oval abodes, we decided to take the unhatched eggs and put them in the incubators to finish them off. In every hatch, there are eggs that are viable and those that are not. Some develop chicks, but never complete. We filled the two Brinsea incubators and then had more necessitating that we break out the backup incubator. We looked at the eggs under a light designed to determine if they were viable or not and put the ones that seemed destined to hatch in the incubators. What we didn't know is that a rotten egg can look very much like a viable egg in some cases.
So far, there have been 24 hatched chicks both in the nest and in the incubator, but something turned decidedly foul in one of the incubators yesterday. I went in to check the progress only to be met with a wall of invisible stench. I peered into the little window on the backup incubator and saw that one of the eggs had not only rotted, but had exploded into the most disgusting and putrid green grossness. There was only one thing I could do and that was to go tell Jeff so he could clean it up. Don't judge me.
So, Jeff took the incubator tray to clean the nasty exploded egg out and was throwing out the other eggs that were probably not viable when he got to the last egg.... which was stuck in the tray because it had seeped some sort of egg nastiness that dried and adhered the egg to the tray. As he gently attempted to loosen the egg from its spot, the egg exploded with the 3 weeks of accrued nastiness, sending putrid and rancid green sulphuric egg grossness onto his clothes and face. And this is where he puked. Not just puked a little, but from the very bottom of his toenails. And as he explained how gross and disgusting the event was for him, all I could do was laugh..... like peeing yourself laughing.