Monday, 18 April 2011
Poultry catch up
So much has happened over the last few weeks ... not all good.
Today I candled the eggs under the broody Indian Game, nine eggs from heavy breed hens using the Indian Game cockerel.
After all the eggs from the first setting were infertile, in the hope of improving fertility I penned the cockerel and four hens in the stable for two weeks before setting this clutch. Today candling showed only one of the nine viable.
I made the very hard decision of calling a halt to the sitting. I have removed all the eggs and shut the broody hen out into the run part of the ark... she is not, understandably, very happy.
Another hard desicion will be 'what next?' re. the cockerel.
I also have another rather angry broody maran, who for the life of her can't understand why I will not let her spend all day in the nestbox terrorizing any hen that dares to enter the house, but see fit to place her in a small run with nowhere comfy to snuggle down.
Talking of broodies I have two more but I am offering these for sale. They are crossbred, very freindly birds who will make excellent sitters and mothers. When not broody they lay almost/if not daily.
The chicks are growing fast and are now 4 1/2 weeks old. Many of the Welsummers are cockerels, the Leghorns appeared to be more evenly divided.
All the hens are laying well, the Welsummers especially and their fertility is high.
It is a good time of year for all the poultry.
The goose has finally come into lay. I will leave her eggs in her nest in the hope she decides to sit, although due to their age goslings are not likely.