Since seeing the heart beats in 17 of our eggs on Saturday night and still not finding on in the last egg, we were pretty sure that #16 was a “dud”. Unforunately, there is no way to confirm this without waiting until (roughly) June 15, waiting for it to explode and create a problem for all of the eggs we know are viable… or do what we ended up doing once Deliah’s neck situation was sorted out. We went to our friend, who spent his entire life raising chickens and asked for his opinion on how to handle the situation.
We took a look with our maglight and agreed, #16 was likely a dud.
Now we faced an ethical dilema… do we take #16 and assumed it’s done, or give it another few days to confirm?
It wasn’t a decision the kids and I took likely, Bill is working away on an article, so I didn’t want to disturb him over something we were certain was already gone. In the end, we decided to investigate. I think it is safe to say that we all would have felt horrible if we’d cracked that egg open and found a viable embryo, but thankfully we were all right. No development, definitely gone.
We read last week about ‘windowing’ chicken eggs during devlopment. It gives you a direct view of the chick inside through a window cut in to the shell, but not through the sac. This is not something I’m willing to try on an egg we know is living, but in my foolish bravery I thought I would try it on #16. I figured that if it was easy and we were able to confirm it was safe for a devloping chicken it might be something we would consider for a different batch of hatching eggs (in the distant future, far, far away). Needless to say, my attempt was botched… but I was gentle enough to only pierce the sac and not damage the yolk in #16. I can also say with absolute certainty that this is something I would not attempt on a viable egg…
In any case, if you’re not offended or grossed out by such things, we’ve looked over these articles and videos to see what’s going on:
- An article about the process, not very graphic but may be inappropriate for the faint of heart
- A windowed egg, alive and safe – NOT for the squeamish
- An exhibit at the science museum in Utah, live embryos grown out of egg – also NOT for the squeamish