Sunday, 30 January 2011

A step closer - to hatching

Yesterday we made a final adjustment to the breeding groups and are now a step closer to being able to start collecting the eggs for hatching.

The remaining two meat cockerels were dispatched, enabling us to swap around the Gold Duckwing Welsummer cockerels. Until now the older of the two GDWS was keeping the young table birds in order, with them gone he can now be returned to the breeding pen.
The younger cockerel who had been running with his hatch mates has been given a pen of his own with four lovely crossbred hens. We won't breed from these birds, they will either be sold for 'garden hens' as they have such a lovely friendly nature or we may keep them to form part of a our broody flock, but for now they are keeping the young cockerel happy until we can provide him with a small number of Welsummer hens of his own.

In two or three weeks we should be able to start collecting the Welsummer eggs with the confidence that they are fertile to the older cockerel.

Breeding from the Indian Game cockerel is slightly more involved. I prefer to pen him with just a few hens at a time, to help increase the fertility percentage but mostly to be able to keep an accurate record of any chicks hatched.

The Exchequer Leghorn flock are really beginning to look stunning and are producing four eggs a day from five birds, all of which are a good size. One of the five hens isn't suitable for breeding so will be moved to the 'laying' flock at home, although I think she is the one bird not laying, so her future is undecided.

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