Friday, March 16, 2012
I initially started raising Giant Cochins with the thought they would be broodies for my Blue Andalusian chicks. Andalusians just have no interest in taking care of their own kids. They produce a bajillion of them, then they are just "dead-beat" parents and don't want to take the time to hatch or raise them! Spring fever has hit hard and they are popping out eggs like crazy in that pen. I was in need of some help to get the blue babies hatched.
So Cochins to the rescue...or NOT. I waited and waited for one of my beautiful blue Cochin gals to go broody. You would think out of 9 hens, one would cooperate? Nope. Nada. So I took the plunge and ordered an incubator off of eBay. Guess what? The pretty little lady pictured above and below decided she wants to raise some chicks! The very day after I spent a small fortune on an "alternative" way to get those babies hatched.
"We are NOT amused"
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!