Wednesday, 13 March 2013
First hatch of 2013
A week ago the first chicks of 2013 hatched. As no broodies were available I used the incubator. It was a mix setting of eggs mainly to test fertility and hatchability.
Fertility was high with only one of the thirty eggs set proving to be clear when candled at seven days incubation. At seventeen days all the remaining twenty nine eggs had progressed as expected, of the twenty nine, twenty three hatched. I was expecting more. The main reason I believe was down to the atmosphere being too humid. Although I incubate dry, the incubator (for the first time) was located in the utility room.
All the chicks to hatch, however are very healthy and strong. At a week old they are jumping about the pen trying out their wings, they are dust bathing and sparring with each other, all signs of happy, healthy chicks.
This week a second setting will go in the incubator as I am still waiting for my, usually reliable, hens to go broody.
Eggs set. Exchequer Leghorn (white) Partridge Welsummer (brown) Welsummer X Light Sussex (tinted/cream)
Newly hatched chicks.
Chicks at one week old. The white chick to the left is a male Welsummer X Light Sussex. The ginger chick on the right is a female of the same breed.The black & white chicks - Exchequer Leghorn.