I received a catalog in the mail yesterday from Agri Supply. “Why?” you might ask? I have no idea…but it was specifically addressed to me, here at my work address. I can assure you, I’ve never ordered any farm equipment, especially delivered here to work!
I’m not the only curious person here at my workplace; even Accounting Nicole stole a peek when she dropped off the mail. I paged through it a little bit upon first receipt…however, I was disappointed when I found nothing “unusual” in the catalog. Once I got past the initial disappointment, I started showing off my unusual gift (just on the basis of it being an agricultural catalog itself) to coworkers when they would stop by my desk.
I don’t remember who found it first, but one of my coworkers found a listing for an egg incubator and its accompanying “egg turner”. None of us even considered the need for turning eggs during incubation. The item might have soon been forgotten, had the “47 eggs” not stuck out of the item description.
It was obvious from the picture that there were 6 rows, each containing 8 eggs. We scoured the picture for an explanation…why didn’t it say 48 eggs? The mystery soon turned into a full-fledged hunt for information. We located similar items on the web, zoomed in on the provided photos. All photographic evidence seemed to indicate a 48-egg capacity. We attempted to explain it as a misprint, only to find the same 47-egg limit listed on each site we visited. Soon we exhausted all information we could find on the mystery on the Internet and in the catalog provided…if we were to find a solution to the question, we would have to go to even more extreme measures.
JManDoo called one of the Internet providers we had for the egg turner that had a rural address. (We believed this would give us a higher chance of locating someone “who knew”) She answered in a great southern rural drawl; we explained our quandary and awaited her knowing response. Sadly, she explained, she had no idea why there would only be a 47-egg capacity. We thanked her for her help, once again feeling defeated.
I then called Agri Supply using the number provided in the catalog. I have a feeling we reached a catalog ordering/fulfillment house, since the operator not only had to ask us for the page number of the item, but couldn’t escalate our query to anyone at Agri Supply.
Still not willing to give up the hunt, JManDoo and I located the manufacturer of the egg incubator / egg turner combo, Miller Manufacturing. (Miller Manufacturing sold the egg turner under the trade name, “Little Giant”) We looked for an explanation there, but there was even less information on the manufacturer’s site than we got from the reseller’s catalog! We looked at their contact information, thinking we could find an email or a phone number and found out the company is right next door in Eagan! What luck! ‘course, by this time, it was well after our usual quittin’ time, as it was for Miller Manufacturing. We sent an email to their customer service representatives and headed out for the evening.
All day today, I waited for their response. Finally, around 2pm, I was tired of waiting and called them up on the phone. After explaining the mystery, Jill was ready with an answer. She explained that Miller Manufacturing suggested that the egg turner should only be used for 46 eggs, not the 47 eggs listed in many catalogs or the 48 it could hold. The design of the egg turner requires a small step motor to drive the rotation of the eggs - this motor generates a small amount of heat. This small amount of heat is significant to the sensitive eggs - as a result, the manufacturer suggests leaving each of the egg locations empty near the motor.
Before hanging up, we asked her if there was a local dealer we could visit in order to see the egg turner in action. She gave us the name of Tractor Supply over in South Saint Paul. I’m thinking a field trip is in order…