Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Chick update - photos

The Exchequer Leghorn chicks are already 4 days old, I have kept them indoors for now as the past couple of days have been quite wet. They will need to be moved by the weekend as I will need to clean the shed in readiness for any turkeys that may hatch. I candled the turkey eggs again yesterday and think they may still be developing, although there are three whose air sacs have an irregular shape. It has been a good result with the Leghorn chicks, with only two possibly three cockerels amongst them.

Photo: Exchequer Leghorn chicks 6 days old.The two darkest in the middle are most likely cockerels.

The chicks from the previous hatchings are doing well and are now three and eight weeks old. The nine, three week old chicks are all crossed with an Indian game cockerel and are destined for the table, apart from the three pure Indian Game. They are feathering up much faster than the others and look good, strong healthy chicks.

Photos: (click on image to enlarge)
Top photo:
Indian Game hen with 9, 3 week old chicks. All from an Indian Game cockerel.
The 3 balck ones are from either Australorp or Welsh black hens.
The 3 white or white mix are from an Ixworth hen
The remaining 3 (although only 2 are in the photo) are pure IG

Bottom photo:
The 2 chicks in the foreground are Ixworth cross the 3 at the back are pure Indian Game

The 18 , 8 week old chicks are a mixed flock both in breed and in hatchings. 6 are from the clutch of eggs hatched by the Speckled Sussex, 2 of which are table birds from the Indian Game cockerel, of the remaining Welsummer chicks there are 3 partridge cockerels and a Gold Duckwing cockerel. The rest of the group are chicks hatched in the incubator, 4 table birds and 8 Welsummer pullets ( a mix of partridge and Gold Duckwing )

Photo 1 : L -Indian game cross Ixworth chick 8 weeks. R- Gold duckwing Welsummer cockerel 8 weeks

Photo 2 : Gold duckwing Welsummer pullet 8 weeks

Photo 3 : Partridge Welsummer cockerel 8 weeks


  1. I hope all is well for your chicks. The pictures are great. I'm looking forward to hearing about your turkey hatch.

    We had another potential natural laying failure. We had a Golden Wyandotte setting, so I moved her to her own personal hen house with plans to add either eggs or new chicks under her if she continued setting. I built her a wonderful personal coop with a private grass yard and brought her over if the late afternoon. Unfortunately, she never settled in. After several hours of squawking, she found her escape under the chicken wire around the yard and off she went back to the main coop. Now, as luck would have it, we have 2 Golden Wyandottes setting.

    I wonder if you could provide some additional advice. We have 31 eggs in the incubator, due to hatch late next week. Two thoughts. I could either wait until they hatch, then add some of the new chicks under the hens during the night in the main coop. But, I think I would need to move them after a few days, as the nests in the main coop are high off the ground making it impossible for the chicks to come & go and also, I don't want the other hens to bother the new chicks.

    The other option would be to move both the setting hens (in the dark) into the personal coop together, in the hopes they would be happier with a hen friend, rather than alone. Then, after the hatch, I could add chicks under each hen.

    Do you think any of these scenarios would work?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  2. Hi Marianne,

    What a shame about the first broody.Broodies really are a law unto themselves and it is not until after the first season that you can safely hazard a guess how each individual hen will behave.

    I wouldn't recommend putting the two hens together in the same coop with chicks, as they may attack each others off spring. Saying that though, there have been situations where two hens happily share the rearing of their broods. Not something I would try without knowing the characters of the hens.

    Maybe it would be worth trying one hen in each situation?

    I have never added chicks to a broody before but a friend has for the past couple of years with success. She waits until they are a couple of days old and then adds them slowly under the hen at dusk, from behind without the hen seeing the chick.A large fowl will happily rear 15.

    Is there anyway you could divide the broody coop and run you made into two for both the hens, they don't need anything too elaborate ?

    The very best of luck. Hatching eggs is one of the best and most potentially disappointing of all the things I do.

  3. Thanks for the tips. I can certainly raise the chicks in the brooder, etc. but I have this burning desire to have a hen raise them. Crazy ideas we get! I am enjoying reading about the way others do things in the hopes one day I will succeed :)

  4. I prefer a broody where possible but sometimes it just doesn't work out. Unless one of my hens suddenly gets the desire it looks like any turkeys that manage to hatch are going to have to go under a lamp.

    Hens are so much easier.

    You will succeed it's just finding what works best for you. It took me two years of dreadful results before I cracked it with the incubator :)