In the process of removing the egg turner, (the eggs aren't supposed to turn for the last few days) I dropped two eggs on the floor. They weren't fertilized. Or formed? Or developed? They were still eggs, at any rate. Stinky, rotten eggs. What are the odds of that?
The first egg hatched in the wee hours of the 27th. The Littles stayed up half the night to watch. I had already gone to bed when the egg started chirping, so I missed all of the excitement.
I left that chick in the incubator for nearly 24 hours, waiting for the rest to make an appearance. A second chick hatched late in the day, and two had started pipping (cracking the shell). The shell provides all of the nutrition the chick needs for the first 24 hours. At the end of the day, the first chick went to the basement all alone.
The next morning, the other two chicks had hatched and a fifth was pipping. I took the second chick to the basement to join the first. Three and four stayed in the incubator all day, waiting for five. Five seemed to be stuck. There was no progress for hours. I finally decided to meddle with it a bit, and found the chick to be dead inside the shell. Three and four joined the first two in the basement.
I still have the incubator running today, but I don't see and pips or cracks in any of the remaining eggs, so I'm not really hopeful for any other hatchlings this round. Tomorrow we'll take the remaining eggs outside and open them up. I want to see how many were starting to form and didn't hatch.
In the meantime, I have four balls of fluff to tend to.
The next batch will include 5 goose eggs! They're too big for the egg turner, so they'll all be loose on the bottom of the incubator. That means I have to turn them every day by hand. I hope it works out. There are few critters I love more than baby goslings.