...but it's over. I'm declaring them duds. Not a single chick has hatched. I can hear one peeping, but it should have pipped out by now. I don't think it will make it. It takes everything in me to override that motherly instinct to crack the egg open and haul it's fuzzy little bum out of there. But there's a reason they're not coming out of their shells. It's best not to mess with Mother Nature in that department. In theory the others might just be running a little late, but I suspect they're not coming at all. I'll leave the incubator plugged in for a couple more days, but I don't expect anything from it.
Lots of things can happen along the way to cause a hatch to go bad. First we had Blackbeard's little infertility issue. Combine that with The Wench's advanced age and we'd be lucky to get anything from them anyway. The incubator temperature may have been a little off. Or the auto egg turner may have been an issue. Then there's Old Jack. While he's doing everything he can to repopulate the earth, his girls are so young their eggs are still small. I suspect the small egg shells are what caused this hatch to go bad. I don't think there was enough room in there for the little buggers to grow.
So unless Pecking Polly has some success this weekend, we're going to be chickless. I finally caught her off the nest the other day and quickly candled the eggs. I think she has one good one and possibly two others. They were iffy. At this point I'm hoping the poor girl doesn't hatch just one chick. It would be one lonely little chick. So it would be better at this point if she didn't hatch any at all. Or I may stop at the farm store tomorrow and pick up a few chicks to sneak under her. After she's been sitting there so long I think she deserves some babies.
But there's still hope we might get a few of our own chicks this month. My girl, Pearl, has decided to go broody. I've tried for days to get her to stop but now she's claimed four little green eggs and has no intention of letting anyone take them. So I'm going to leave her to do her job and see if Mother Nature can do it better without us.
EDITED TO ADD***** It made a liar out of me. Minutes after posting this it hatched! Looks like I'll be making that run to the farm supply store in the morning.