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Do not wash or wipe eggs; they should be from a clean nest; moisture can pass through the porous egg taking germs with it. To clean the egg, wash quickly in warm water and dry, and return immediately to the nest. Ensure nesting hay is copious, clean and dry, and fresh long before the hen goes broody and disposed of after she has completed her hatching, but not while she is sitting unless it is an emergency like a broken, rotten egg or soaked with water. If a hen fouls her nest or breaks an egg, or one hopes not has a rotten egg break, one will need to clean the nest immediately. The hen will leave the nest with her first hatched, and there is not much one can do about it unless one is willing to remove the chicks immediately at hatching and artificially rear them.

Check for any cracks and discard these, as these will go rotten. I’ve done this with success. However, it’s best to order them in the spring and summer, as you will have fewer issues with keeping them warm before they have fully developed feathers. A properly managed nest should not smell or have mites running around; it should also be dry and free from droppings. Once a hen is broody, do not allow other hens to lay in the nest. Do not allow birds to sleep on the nest if they are not broody, as this will spoil the eggs. Avoid small eggs like pullets, as chicks will be weak and inclined to disease. But their win-at-all-costs mentality meant they distrusted his desire to have fun, to play like his heroes, to try audacious flicks and tricks on the muddy pitches of some English wasteland.

The Australian Standards of perfection can easily be consulted. If it is not, there are the British and the American standards, all with glossy color photos, and the Europeans and Americans have developed an enormous range of colors in their Pekins. Roosters have been domesticated since ancient times due to their usefulness as an alarm system by crowing at dawn or whenever something moves nearby. Sometimes they can be returned to the brood at night when hatching is complete. Avoid extra-large eggs which may be double yolkers and not be successful or misshapen. If eggs are introduced later, they will hatch later. Rotten explosive eggs occur if good management practices are not adhered to. Do not set eggs of unknown age if you are not prepared to monitor them by candling every few days.