Yesterday evening after receiving encouragement and consult from Shelby I removed more than half of the eggs from the Dark Cornish's nest. She had a whopping thirty-one, ten more than the last time I counted just a few days ago. The ones I removed were basically the outer ring, some were nearly cold to the touch and others had clearly been laid very recently. I marked the fifteen that remained so that I will be able to easily tell which ones are new if that number begins to climb again.
I made some very crude efforts to candle some of the eggs I culled. I was able to vaguely make out the air pocket and that was about it. I have since gotten some better information (thanks mom) on the proper procedure and am going to try again, perhaps tonight. If I have any luck I will certainly report back about it.
I am still totally intimidated by the possibility of having chicks as soon as this weekend, but am mostly very excited about the prospect. I have some work to do to get ready for them and for that reason I am hoping they don't hatch until at least Saturday. The barn is enough to keep the full grown flock safe from the dog and wild predators but tiny baby chicks have a few more things to fear, including, but not limited to, roosters and our crazy cat. I have some basic ideas for how to make a semi-temporary room for them in part of the barn but haven't begun on anything.
As I write this I beginning to think I really shouldn't be wasting any time. I sure would hate to find myself with sweet baby chicks and no safe place to put them!