Here it is, Day Two of The Great Incubation. I’ve been turning my eggs and keeping notes. Last night I saw that the water level was low so I heated some water up to 100 degrees and added it to the incubator, being careful not to overflow the trough. When I turned the eggs this morning I noticed that one egg had been sitting in the water all night because it weighed down the wire mesh enough to touch the water in that corner. It was a small amount of shell that touched the water, I would say no more than 1 cm in diameter. But still, it might be enough to ruin that egg. Since I had marked each egg with its own number, I know to follow the progress of that particular egg to see how it develops (or doesn’t).
How does water contact ruin an egg? The shell of an egg is made up of many pores that allow the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and through these pores some water is lost during the incubation stage. When the shell gets wet, two things can happen. Bacteria get a free ride in through the porous shells via the water droplets, infecting the chick embryo with all sorts of diseases. The second thing that happens is the shell doesn’t “breathe” as well as it should and the necessary amount of water that should be lost to evaporation is low. This affects chick development and can cause problems at hatch time.
Lesson learned: don’t fill the water trough too high!