It’s Chick Time Again!

Yup. That’s right. Spring has sprung, the grass is green, and I set three dozen eggs in the incubator before I realised that most of my hens had decided it was their life’s work to go broody.

(Seriously, these mixed breeds? People say that mixed breeds / hybrids are among the least likely to go broody. Totally not true. Well, yes, a good ISA will hardly ever go broody. But most of the ones I’ve hatched go broody like clockwork at the beginning of spring. I’ve got three sitting on eggs, due to hatch next week, and at least five, possibly six, more, whom I am currently shooing off their nests twice a day.)

Anyway, tomorrow is the due date for all the eggs currently in the incubator. Only they were impatient, and decided to start hatching around midday yesterday. Go figure.

IMGP7619Above, you can see the following:

One slightly drowned hen. It’s one of those stupid rescue ISAs I bought a few weeks ago who still hasn’t learnt that when it gets dark, she’s meant to go into the coop. Instead, five or six of them consistently perch on the edge of the pond. Don’t ask why. So the first rainy night since I bought them, and a bunch of them were washed into the pond. Dad just fished her out – there were two more dead in the pond. Anyway, this one should recover all right. She’s lucky we’ve got the heat lamp going at the moment.

Next to her are five chicks from my “striped” line. You can’t really see them, since four have light yellow down and one is slightly orangey. Anyway, their parents look like this:

2013.02.15 - Pullet 032013.06.23 - 01And this:

2013.06.23 - 152013.06.23 - 17Plus variations thereupon. And a couple of dark barred hens.

The next lot of chicks are mixed bantams. There are four of those: two which are half white Leghorn bantam, one which is a totally mixed up one third generation mine, but looks sort of Welsummer (both parents had a Wellie grandfather) and one which is equally mixed up from a mother I bought from a lady in Strath of unknown pedigree. The bantam rooster is half lavender Araucana, quarter Welsummer, and quarter golden-laced Wyandotte. I really should get pictures up of him – he’s quite interesting-looking.

The final lot of chicks, to the far right, are five from my “black and gold” line. They’re now orphans, since their parents were taken by a fox about two weeks ago, and I had pretty much resigned myself to not really continuing with that line of breeding, except I’ve got a couple of rather promising-looking chicks already.

Anyway, their parents looked like this:

2013.06.23 - 01And here’s a better one of the father, Goldilocks:

2013.06.23 - 02Believe it or not, his tail only got more impressive. It got ringlets. And almost touched the ground. And his saddle feathers got longer and danglier, too. I wish I’d gotten some photos of it.

I’ll try to get a photo of the most promising chicks to put up soon.

My sister reckons that once these chicks are grown, I should take some photos and put them on the wanted section of Gumtree. If I do end up continuing this line, after all, I’ll probably do that. And some photos of Goldilocks and his girls, too.

Anyway. that’s all for now. Again, I will get more photos… once the camera battery is charged. Some of the chicks are pretty cool-looking, this time ’round. Now, if only I could get one of the green eggs to hatch…

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