Even a big guy like this starts as a little egg. This is Hickory, aka PITA. He's good to his ladies and the primary reason that all my eggs have excellent fertility. But he annoys the snot out of me. I guess there isn't a perfect world. See, I have two roosters for 24 hens. It's a good ratio and the roosters don't fight. But I have one who is popular with the hens and one who is popular with people.
Apparently, Hickory is good at what he does best because all the ladies run up to him and squat for him on a regular basis. There is no pulling of feathers or squawking. He finds treats for his girls and calls them to partake. He protects them from hawks and if a fight should break out, he stops it immediately. He's a good rooster. Unfortunately, Hickory thinks he should run the barnyard and occasionally I have to kick his feathered butt to make him back off. I only wear long pants and boots in the chicken runs in case he tries to spur me. Rotten turd!
Thistle is the opposite. He has a devoted few ladies, but the rest...well...let's just say he's a sneak attack rooster. He ambushes them when coming around the corner, or waits for them to bend down and eat, then jumps aboard. But my son can actually pick him up and carry him around. One day, Hickory went after my eldest (the Howler Monkey) and Thistle jumped on Hickory to make him stop. He's my sweetie.
But both of these full grown boys were once just eggs in the incubator. My eggs are now five days along in the hatching process. Already they have all the organs needed to survive. They have little buds which will become beaks, wings, and legs. In another five days, I will be able to confirm which eggs are viable and which are not.
My novel is developing too. My characters are becoming real, surprising me. My hero, who was in danger of becoming too perfect, has gotten rather pissy about being trapped in the Cotswolds following a torrential rain. Heh. My heroine has strengths and talents I never knew. The ending has finally revealed itself, as have twists to the plot. I can't give you a word count because I've been scratching away in a notebook.
Yes, my chickens have gone high tech with an automatic turner and self-calibrating incubator, while my writing is unplugged, just an ink pen and a notebook. Hopefully this weekend I can get it all into the computer and see where I stand.