My dad fancies himself a farmer, and I should have known that as soon as I got this incubator project going that he'd want in on it.
The phone calls started the day I picked up the incubator:
Dad: I had that incubator set up and runnin' at 105 degrees. It's supposed to be right around there.
Ashley: Oh. Hi. Really? The internet said lower than that, like between 100-102, right around there.
Dad: Well I was really close for guessing. It doesn't matter, if you keep them warm they'll hatch.
Ashley: Well not really. You could cook them, and they need humidity, and you have to turn them three times a day.
Dad: No. No way. There's no way those chickens are turnin' those eggs three times a day or the humidity's the same or any of that. I've lived on a farm all my life (this is not entirely true) and I've never seen a chicken turn her egg. It'll work. Trust me, it'll work.
Ashley: Well, they do too turn their eggs, they just poke their beak down there and turn them, and they need the humidity to help them hatch from their shells. I'm sure they aren't as scientific about it but I'm going to go with the internet on this one.
Dad: Hmmph. What are you going to do, put a plus and a minus on opposite sides of the eggs and turn them?
Ashley: Yes, like a X and a O or something.
Dad: Yeah, I would do a plus and a minus. What are you going to do about humidity?
Ashley: A pie plate of water.
Dad: I had never heard of all that. Should be interesting. Bye.
This conversation was followed by several more, all inquiring about the current state of the eggs and then offering more made up advice. The volume of calls is notable because he probably calls here 5 times a year and he has called here at least 5 times since I picked up the incubator.
I told my mom that I think he just wants to do it himself now and she said that as soon as the incubator arrived, he started saying that he could just do it over there and give us the chicks, until she pointed out that that sort of defeated the whole purpose.
I finally had to let him know that we'd update him as soon as there was any updating to be done and now he makes my mom ask every time she calls, just to bug me.
He did spend some of his early childhood on his grandparents' farm (sidenote: my name was inspired by their wood burning stove), where they killed chickens for dinner and the whole nine yards, but he is far from an expert on anything. He admits that he couldn't kill a chicken these days, which is quite a step forward because we used to have a greyhound with only three functional legs, and on her bad days he used to insist that "down on the farm" someone would just take that dog out to the back 40 and shoot it.
Finally, we all got so sick of hearing it that we would just tell him to take her on back there and do it, that he was right and it was no way to live. Needless to say, that ended that spiel and Ivy lived on until she was put to sleep in the vet's office after a long and happy life.
His father had a very large herd of cattle and the family had assumed that he was doing some farming now that he was retired, until he died and the books were reviewed and it was discovered that he had never sold one cow. That he just had hundreds of pet cows, that he cared for and enjoyed.
So "faux farming" runs in my family, I think.
I also think it would also be safe to assume that my mom will have an incubator sitting on her kitchen table in the not too far future.
And that he's really going to make me nuts on hatching day.