Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More eggs in fall 2008

Last year, November 4, Cocoa became restless again. It was a beautiful day and in the upper 70s. I thought it might be a good idea to let my guys out for the afternoon, so they can catch some sun. I set them out on the patio and when i looked a half hour later for them, they were at the left side of the house beside the A/C unit and Cocoa was digging an other nest. Georgy was sitting right beside her and watched her. Daisyboy was appr. 5 feet away under a flower and slept.

left side is Cocoa, right side is Georgy

She chose a spot between the Black Cohosh plants (which I sell also in my store as seeds btw).

She was pretty busy to get a good sized hole, because the dirt was hard and she had to soften it with her own poop and urine several times.

It's getting deeper.

Now she's getting ready to lay the eggs. Her tail is getting bigger.

There we go. First egg is laid.

She was carefully turning the egg and moving it around, so that the second egg wouldn't fall right on top of it.
She finally found the right position for the egg just by moving it with her hint legs. She doesn't see where the egg is, she only feels it with her legs.

Here comes the second egg.

That seemed to be all this time, as she began to cover the hole up after the second egg. It was already 5pm and got pretty cool. The temperature was only in the lower 60s now and I was afraid, she wouldn't be able to finish her job. She seemed exhausted. But she cannot stop covering the nest up, she always is in a kind of trance when she lays eggs, where she doesn't seem to hear or see anything. After an other hour she couldn't move any more and that was when I carried her away. Georgy btw didn't move from her side for the entire 5 hours it took her to complete her job. I gave the girl a nice warm bath, so she could warm up and then she fell immediately asleep. She slept through 2 1/2 days, so exhausted she was.
After I brought them all in the house, I had to go out and dig the eggs up to get them asap into the incubator. In the meantime it was in the lower 50s and already dark. I had to get a flashlight, so I could find the spot again. Very carefully I removed the soil, which she had pressed very firmly around the eggs, so that I wouldn't crack them. I got them out with a spoon and cleaned them a little with a wet cloth, before I placed them in a plastic bowl, ready to go into the heated incubator.
5 weeks later onDecember 12, she laid 2 more eggs in the indoor pen and we are now incubating 4 eggs.

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