Wednesday, March 7, 2012
I'm sure the title of this post had you thinking of something else. Never fear, we aren't pregnant and we aren't blue at all around here, but our new babies are!
Welcome to our first hatch of the year (from Monday). 24 eggs went into the incubator and exactly 21 days later, these pretty babies made their way into the big wide world outside their shells. I'm especially happy with these 17 hatchlings because they are the first chicks from my young breeding birds.
In the first week of incubation, 4 eggs were found to not be fertile while 1 started and died. The other 19 eggs went the full three weeks. 2 eggs didn't hatch for unknown reasons, but 17 did and 17 out of 24 is still very good. The fertility and hatch rate should both improve as the breeders get a little older ~ and more experienced :)
The fuzzier chicks are Giant Blue Cochins with the others being my Blue Andalusians. As you can see in the photo, there are some differently colored birds in the brooder. Most birds that carry the common blue or "Andalusian" gene have the possibility of producing Blue, Black or Splash chicks. I am pleased with the group of mostly blue babies: 10 blue (5 Cochins/5 Andalusians), 5 black (3 Cochins/2 Andalusians) and 2 Splash Cochins. Splash chicks will be a whitish based bird with blue or black "splashes" of color. More about the blue genes later.
More photos and blathering on about my birds to come soon!