This morning whilst the broody Speckled Sussex was out pottering about on her daily break, I replaced the china eggs she had been sitting on with a clutch of eggs from a selection I had collected over the past few days.
Photo: Taking a well earned break
Traditionally a clutch is 13, as she is such a large bird I have tried her with 15. ( the Indian Game cover 10 with ease and they are so much smaller) I'm a little hesitant, as if she is unable to cover the eggs comfortably, each egg in turn will get cold as she moves them around. However she appears to be covering them well and looks comfortable. I'll check again in an hour or two.
Photo: Sitting comfortably
The eggs are a mix of breeds to test the fertility of the cockerels. I have added a few Exchequer Leghorns which I know to be fertile, so the hen will have a few chicks at least.
As the hen is in a pen rather than a coop and run, I have been lifting her off daily but for the next couple of days I will leave her to sit as I have noticed when left to their own devices for the first few and the last few days of incubation the hen doesn't leave the nest. She does have room in the pen to leave the nest for a stretch, food and water if she wishes.
I tend not to candle the eggs from under a broody so now it is just a case of waiting 21 days to see what hatches.
5 Gold Duckwing Welsummer
4 Exchequer Leghorn
2 Speckled Sussex hen - Gold Duckwing Welsummer cockerel
4 Maran hen - Gold Duckwing Welsummer cockerel
Selection of eggs collected to choose from:
Chosen eggs in the nest: