Friday, March 25, 2011

these chickens are driving me crazy!

Ugh, hatching season is off to a really craptastic start. Like I mentioned a while back, this is earlier than I've tried to hatch birds in a long time. Even a few years back, the first batch would hatch maybe two weeks or so into April, and I know that their prime hatching time is usually in May. So this is early, and I'm hoping I can chalk all the problems up to that. Unfortunately I'm on a pretty tight schedule, what with the whole "I have to go to Atlanta" thing in early June. It's bad enough having to foist the daily care of babies off on someone else while I'm gone, but I certainly can't have any hatching right then.

Fertility has been terrible. Really really terrible. So terrible I'm incredibly glad I'm not trying to sell eggs right now. The Black male is at a whopping 0% fertility so far. There's not a mite on him, he's clean, I just wormed him... he was used in a breeding pen last year... ugh. I guess I can give him one more week and then I'm going to have to swap him out for the "backup" cockerel, a nice looking bird who has no sickle feathers. So I would take a serious risk breeding that cockerel, but it's either that or I keep waiting, or use the Blue male and no longer have a purebred Black line. Crap.

And now one of the BBRed males is down to almost 0% fertility after doing okay the first two weeks. What's changed? Well, it's a whole lot muddier and little bit colder. Maybe they are just aren't in the mood??

Oh, and I don't know what's happened in the last week of incubation but nearly half of batch 2 is dead in the shell. What the heck?!?!?!

I'm expecting four chicks this weekend.

Pathetic. :-(


Jan Blawat said...

If you just want an incubator full of chicks, I have Ancona eggs and mutt eggs. They're 100% reliable, as you know, any time of the year. I think the weather is to blame, it's just been so nasty, what creature would want to hatch out to a world like this? If I can hobble by June, I'll be happy to help with chicks.

Maybe if you brought your breeding birds in the house for a while. A good dinner, a little candlelight and soft music, a fire in the stove?

Katherine Plumer said...

Yeah, that might do the trick. Really I don't blame them, it's nasty outside. They need their coops to dry out!