One of our nurse’s friends, a farmer, turned up these eggs whils ploughing a field. They were given to our nurse, Charlie, as most of our wierd and wonderful wildlife is. These are pictures of them as they hatched!
There were 15 eggs, which Charlie initially candled (using a bright light shone through the egg shell to look at what is inside) them and it was obvious from this that 4 were not fertile. Even the ones that were left weren’t definitely fertile as the shells were green and rather hard to see through. Charlie has some experience of doing this before and she guessed that the eggs were at about day 6 of incubation, pheasant eggs need 23 – 28 days altogether. The remaining eggs were put into a plastic box with a heat mat inside for a make-shift incubator, and incubation was started at 34 degrees centigrade and the eggs were turned regularly to prevent membrane sticking inside the shell. She stopped turning them at day 21 to get any chicks inside ready for hatching. The first one started hatching at day 24. At day 26, 3 had hatched in total, 2 are doing very well but one died within a few hours of hatching (it couldn’t stand up and looked deformed ). The chicks were moved from the incubator to a brooding box with a heat lamp, and fed chick crumbs which they ate happily, also catching little flies and drinking water.
Although not part of our usual duties, we get involved in helping wildlife as much as possible, it can be very distressing but can also be uplifting!