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My new favorite YouTube binge channel is A Chick Called Albert. He’s a Dutch hippie with an animal rescue – ho hum – but his claim to fame is (and this is unheard of) he will take rescue eggs and try to incubate them.

When gamekeepers are instructed to clear out the nests of ground-nesting birds, or poultry keepers or aviaries find abandoned mystery eggs, he’ll take them in and give them a shot. I’d hate to think what his failure rate is, but he does seem to know what he’s doing and his successes are awesome.

Several times, to my horror, he’s helped a chick along at hatching time. Poultry keepers are told never, ever to do this. The very first sign of life in an incubating egg is a robust vascular system – gnarly veins – growing along the inside of the shell (on candling, it’s honestly spooky as hell). These veins are not totally inactive at the time of hatching, and hurrying things along can kill the chick. But, again, he seems to know what he’s doing.

The little peeper in the thumbnail turned out to be a zebra finch. Watching him giving it a first feeding with a pipette and a magnifying glass was something else.

I absolutely adored hatching eggs, which is how I ended up with three roosters and one hen. Never again, I’m afraid. I’ll have to hatch vicariously through my friend Alwyn here. His posts have slowed way down, but his back-catalogue should keep me busy a while.

p.s. If you think it’s a little creepy that the first thing he does is kiss the newly hatched bird, he’s not. He’s warming it up with his breath because he’s taken it from the nice warm incubator into the cold room to examine it.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 17, 2024, 9:33 pm

That he can care for such tiny birds and raise them to adulthood is quite astonishing, and surprisingly touching. I am glad there is someone like him in our world.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: June 17, 2024, 11:45 pm

We got 9 inches of rain over the last 6 days. I’m blowing over an inch a day off the pool and struggling to dump hundreds of pounds of water off my boat tarp every day. And then today I stepped outside and was greeted by a field of crabs….tens of thousands. All just about an inch across, all nasty with their pinchers up at me. We’ve been here 4 years now…never had this crab shit before.

Have I mentioned I’m deathly allergic to shellfish? Just a touch has me intubated in the hospital. I screamed for the hubby, slammed the door shut, called 911 and some of our friends. Everybody ended up outside hosing and shoveling the crab apocalypse away from the house while the EMTs were working to get a line in me (I won’t mention how vulgar it was with my legs spread with them trying to get a femoral line in).

So we have no idea where this crab herd came from and how to avoid this in the future.

So how was your day

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: June 18, 2024, 1:51 am

Armybrat—dang, Girl.
It’s ok to wear cowboy boots with your shorts. Really.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 18, 2024, 4:00 pm

Gosh! Emergency crab drama! Are you in the hospital?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 18, 2024, 7:49 pm

Lord have mercy! I’m hopeful that your having the wherewithal to write a comment means that you’re out of danger and either on the mend or already mended.

Assuming your sensitivity isn’t so extreme that the presence of those devil crabs outside doesn’t somehow seep inside and cause you trouble, it sounds like a total yard coverage night vision set of security cameras might be on your shopping list.

I’ve known a couple of people with shellfish allergies, one of them being my wife. Saying something like “it’s no fun” is making inappropriate light of the problem. I hope you have a handful of epipens stashed around the house, car, handbag.

I’m sending a quick prayer your way. Please let us know how you’re doing.

Comment from Armybrat
Time: June 19, 2024, 3:37 pm

I’m alive and well. The crab herd left my house only to show up about a mile away at a friend’s house. Fortunately, they aren’t allergic! It was a quick trip to ER, EKG hookup and observation for a bit.
And, yes, I have multiple epi pens. I always carry some, my husband always carries on, all our friends have them at their houses for me.
And the funny thing is nobody seems to know where the crab herd came from!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 19, 2024, 5:55 pm

Whew! I’m so glad you’re OK now. Thanks 1e6 for the good news update!

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