Sunday, 1 April 2012

Egg-spansion attempts disappoint.

Sunday 1st April 2012
April Fool's Day

With two chickens going broody, one sadly passing away and a couple of others going through a late moult, egg production has failed to keep pace with demand of late.

So it was that we hatched a plan (sorry, awful pun!)  More chickens.
So, through the post came some nice blue eggs, some nice pale brown eggs and some very nice dark brown eggs - Cream Legbars, Indian Game and French Copper Black Marans.

Well, we got three from the blue eggs. All six had at least been fertile. One has splay leg, a common condition which sees the chick almost doing the splits. We have applied first aid, but I give it a 50:50 chance at the moment.
As for the Indian Game eggs. Only two hatchlings from the incubator (only 3 were ever fertile) and Elvis seems to have failed again with the 3 we gave her. So a 22% hatch rate is pretty pathetic.

Chick of Elvis, if you remember, had also decided to build herself a nest outside the confines of the chicken compound, and was sitting on two of her own eggs. That was until the hay bales slowly collapsed, along with her nest, sending the eggs tumbling to the floor. At least she is coming back into lay now and will soon be giving us an egg a day.

And the six chocaliciously dark Marans eggs? Well, they're down to four already after two arrived cracked in the post. Fingers crossed for the other four, which have now been in the incubator for a week.

The reasons for our disappointing rate of failure are not known.
Suspects include:
Time of year - is fertility rate lower early in the year?
Suppliers - the Indian Game Eggs especially have disappointed. Was the cockerel a real man?
The Post Office - I'm sure they treated our packages, labelled FRAGILE, with extreme care. Not!
Some five year old children - was the incubator opened too often?
Us - did we look after the eggs properly between receiving them and putting them to incubate?

Once we discover what is the fate of the four eggs we currently have incuabting, we shall try again!
Next time, I will look for a local supplier, so I can collect the eggs in person. We will get 12 eggs and put them all in at the same time. We will leave the incubator in a quiet place in peace.

Meanwhile, at least we still have these.

and these
 

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