Starting from number one there are five new photographs on…

December 10, 2009 in webcams by MrFarmer

Starting from number one there are five new photographs on the photo page.

Adder in the New Forest, Mick (Hampshire)

Chaffinches nest with eggs in the New Forest, Mick (Hampshire)

Lapwing in the New Forest, Mick (Hampshire)

Lapwing nest with eggs in the New Forest, Mick (Hampshire)

Robin feeding chicks in my garden. Mick (Hampshire)

As you have seen on the photograph of the Emu eggs they are a very dark green, so I expected that I would not be able to candle them with a normal poultry candler. To make matters worse I was told today they are opaque so they will need a special infra-red device to see if the eggs are fertile or I will need to incubate for the full 55 days without knowing until the eggs hatch or not if we are going to get a chick. We have incubation space for at least 160 eggs but that wont take long to fill if we incubate all the eggs. So we need to know the fertility or we may get more Emu than we really want.

The other problem that we have is that we cannot trace the Company who did at one time make the infra-red candling device. The Veterinary who owns the Incubator Company that sponsors the Hatchery Cam is the most experienced Ratite Veterinary in the UK and he once sold the device. He believes that the Company is no longer trading, so the options I had were to find a second hand one or find another method of seeing into the Emu eggs for a live embryo.

After a day on the phone speaking to different people we have, we hope three possibilities of knowing if our eggs are fertile after two weeks in the incubator. The first is with my connections in the CCTV industry through the webcams. An infra-red device is going to be made for us. The second again through my CCTV connections by Thermal Imaging, the same principle ish that you see on the Police Helicopters when the can see white images in the dark. It will mean taking the Emu eggs out of the incubator for a few minutes and letting them cool down from the incubating temperature. The egg shell will then be cooler than the embryo allowing the embryo if there is one to be seen by the thermal camera. The Thermal Imaging manufacturer is coming to the Farm after Christmas to see if it works. The final method is by sound with a Stethoscope to hear the Embryo heartbeat or by a powerful microphone in-cased in a box that the egg is put into. I don’t mind what method we use as long as we don’t have to wait 55 day to know if the eggs are fertile.

There is one other way of telling if an egg is fertile, although it can be a bit hit and miss. The egg is placed on a table, as the egg cools down the chick will start to move making the egg roll slightly from side to side.