Having your cake and eating it

rhea quiche2No this is not a cake and this isn’t a post about cakes. About two weeks ago I posted about a quandary I was in (see here). I had been given a rhea egg and I was wondering whether to eat it or incubate it. It seems the consensus was to incubate it and see what happens.  So why then haven’t you seen photos of the egg in the incubator? Well I held off from putting it in because there was a chance that something really exciting would happen. And you know what? that exciting thing happened on Wednesday!

Mummy and Daddy

Mummy and Daddy

I went to visit these two gorgeous ratites – this, I have learned, is the proper term for a rhea, emu or ostrich! They live with the mum of one of the vets that James works with and she kindly let me visit them. They love bananas.

I am not sure I will ever be brave enough to hand feed a rhea - they have big beaks!

I am not sure I will ever be brave enough to hand feed a rhea – they have big beaks!

Male rhea puffing out his wing feathers

Male rhea puffing out his wing feathers

Not only was I allowed to visit, but then the wonderful Rita gave me four rhea eggs to try and hatch out – this is beyond exciting! Here they are next to a normal hen egg.

Rhea eggs with hen egg

Rhea eggs with hen egg

I nibbled some of it!

I nibbled some of it!

As if this wasn’t enough she then gave me a flan made from a rhea egg. One rhea egg makes two large flans! We ate the flan for dinner – I don’t know how it was made, but it was utterly delicious – quite possibly the best flan or quiche type thing we have ever eaten – thank you. I now really want rheas – they lay one egg ever two days during the breeding season and lay on average about 40 eggs I guess. Unsurprisingly I know very little about rheas! Anyway, I have spent the last two days trying to get my incubator to the correct temperature ad humidity. Since the unsuccessful turkey egg debacle I have bought a thermometer and hydrometer to measure temperature and humidity. It seems that the internal thermometer is way off – or the new one is – I am assuming the new one is reliable. I have got the temperature to 97.5 degrees and the humidity to 50%, but everytime I open it it changes. I have also numbered and weighed the eggs. I am recording this here as I will lose the piece of paper.

Eggs in incubator

Eggs in incubator

Egg 1 725g; egg 2 750g; egg 3 775g; and egg 4 750g. I put the eggs in the incubator last night (4/7/14) at 8.45pm – they should take about 35-40 days to hatch. I have turned off the automatic turning thing and will turn them by hand twice a day. I am also busy reading through the Ratite Encyclopedia that Jodie lent us – thank you Jodie. I so want them to hatch, I so want them to hatch ….. and live.

N.B. Of course, the fact that I now have four eggs in my incubator means I can eat the first egg I was given. I am not sure what to make with it: scrambled egg? an omlette? a quiche (or two), tortilla? or a cake? What do you suggest?


6 responses to “Having your cake and eating it

  1. As I can’t eat eggs and adore cake, I vote for cake!! However, the tortilla also does sound rather appealing. Suppose it depends on if when you cook it it’s time for dinner or breakfast. Enjoy!
    ps fingers crossed for the incubation and delivery of healthy baby rheas. You are such a fur/feather kid mom. Love it.

    • I want to cook something I can share with friends on the site and in the village – I mean how often do you get to eat rhea egg? Plus, although I am greedy, even I couldn’t eat a whole one. I am thinking omlette as I have some nice cheese at the moment

  2. Pingback: Lazy rhea-egg baby tarts | smallholding dreams·

  3. Pingback: Incubators, Ottoman History, and the ethics of chicken rearing | smallholding dreams·

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