Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicken fever...again

Some have already arrived, but there are more in the incubator - baby chicks that is! The first batch brought seven babies, and the second batch I have yet to candle. But the chicks will be two weeks old this weekend!

So fluffy and cute...I especially like the barnevelder/welsummer crossed with araucana. For a cross, their feathers are a lot more marked than their barny/welsummer mums were, when they were chicks. I was surprised by that.

Out of this batch we got four crosses and three pure araucana. As you can see in the picture above, I'm sure we have two hens and two cockerels with the crosses. If you see the two hens facing each other, they have their shoulder feathers coming in, while the two other crosses (boys) have only their wing tip feathers. Girls have a habit of feathering up quicker than boys, but this is not the case with every breed. We'll have to see if my estimations are correct.

I think I may have only one hen out of the araucanas though. Albeit, sexing araucanas isn't something I've had much practice at yet. I think the boys have longer necks and bigger hairdo's than the girls. Again, I'll have to wait and see.

Of the other chicks I hatched prior to this batch, I wasn't able to keep them. I reached a point of overload when I began running out of places to put them all. I put it down to poor planning on my part, but I was fortunate to find potential new homes for them in groups.

You will be happy to note however, that I didn't have any problems with araucana chicks getting crooked neck, this time around. I deliberately kept the temperature on the incubator bellow the recommended 37.7 degrees Celsius. I was happy for it to range between 36.9 and 37.7, and got great results.

So it's true what I read, that it's less dangerous to go slightly lower than the recommended temperature, than to go even just a fraction of a degree higher. I reckon that's what was affecting my araucana chicks - it was too hot for them and it affected their development.

I'll have to see what the next batch brings at the end of the month. Not to worry about space though. I'm getting set-up before they arrive, so I won't have chicks coming out my ears again!!


  1. How cute. I am trying to get some fertile eggs at the moment, my last lot of chicks are nearly grown now and i miss having the babies.

  2. Oh babies..... give them a gentle hug and cuddle from me:D

    Can't wait to see more photos as they grow.

  3. Plenty of cuddles given here Lucky, by both me & our daughter - but I promise to think of you next time I hug 'em. I'll tell them it came from you too. They're very friendly, I wouldn't be surprised if they knew exactly what I was saying, LOL.

    It will definitely be interesting, seeing how they all develop too. As crosses, they shouldn't turn out exactly the same. Some will sport weird hairdo's, others won't. It will be interesting! ;)

    You've probably chosen a good time to get fertile eggs greenfumb, as winter will be coming soon and eggs will become harder to come by.

    I wish my barney girls laid more than they do, or I'd send you a full dozen of eggs. I've been getting one a day from two girls, and they can miss a day too.

    I could probably send you a couple though, to throw in with the ones you manage to track down. Let me know when you plan to get them, so I can save a few to post.

    Thanks both for dropping by. I'll let you know how they grow. :)

  4. Wow Chris, Barnie eggs would be great, I don't have any Barnies (yet). If you could scrape even 6 together that would fantastic. I busted the broodies in the sin bin so nothing doing there but that's ok - one of the Silkies is bound to go off any day now and if not they could just stay in the incubator.

    I'd be happy to pay for them. Let me know what you think. I jsut looked them up on a website and they sound fabulous.

  5. Thanks FT, they are very friendly and love attention.

    I'll see what I can round up in 4 days, so I can post on the 5th day greenfumb. Hopefully, I can send some off on Tuesday. :)

    I should clarify though, they are part barnevelder and part araucana. I've read this cross can sometimes give an olive green to Kahki coloured egg. No money required though. :)

    I think I still have your email, so I'll drop you a line.

  6. Thanks Chris - that sounds brilliant. I so love having chickie babies.

  7. They are adorable! This is one topic I have slated for next winter to learn about. It will be our last winter in the city because I'll be able to finally move to the farm in summer. I know nothing about chickens though I was recently offered a rooster that was found in mid city by a friend. No place to keep it here though. I look forward to learning from your experience!

  8. Awesome, I just hatched my first lot of chicks this weekend. I just used mongrel eggs - ISA browns crossed with a light brahma rooster. My brahma girls are just about to come into lay, and I wanted to get experience with the incubator and brooding box before trying my hand at a clutch of bought pure-bred eggs!

    Hatching Chicks

  9. oo Chris lucky you! I love them and wish I could hold one. I'm trying so very very hard to be good and not get anymore but it is veeerrry difficult! Great post - thanks!

    Hee hee - word verification is "quite". Quite!

  10. oh Chris! We'd love a couple of eggs next time our girls go broody. That would be wonderful! Would you consider it? We've got one who seems to be thinking about it again - sitting in the box at night instead of getting up on the perch. She spent hours in there yesterday but wouldn't want to risk it if she isn't. We could send you some eating eggs in return? :) Can't wait to see their hairdos!

  11. Sorry it took me a few days to reply, but I'm still busy finalising the new chick accommodation. Nearly there!

    Rebel, I look forward to reading about your chicken adventures in future. Next summer for the northern hemisphere is less than six months away. How exciting - you finally get to move!!

    Darren, your brahma/isa crosses are very adorable. Thanks for sharing your link. I noticed one chick sporting a dark spot on the top of their head. It will be interesting to note whether it's a sexing trait or just a fluke of genes?

    I've already noticed in my brood, the ones I suspect are boys, have come out much lighter like their barney sexing genes would have - even though they are crossed with araucana. I will have to run at least another batch to see if it's consistent every time, or just a fluke of sporatic genes.

    Jacqui, I'll start putting some aside, as my barney girls are starting to get less reliable at laying with the shorter days.

    I'd be happy to send you some if the girls cooperate, LOL. I may have to throw in a few bantam araucana eggs too if the barney's don't give me the numbers. :)

    Thanks always for everyone's comments, and I look forward to updating the chicks progress soon.

  12. UPDATE: We have a broody! Buff is on Day 3 and nearly took my arm off this evening when I tried to get the eggs out from under her!! Even just a couple of Barnie eggs would be great if you can spare them - if they don't hatch it won't matter. I would happily do a swap (not my girls obviously but something else maybe? I could make something? or send you something?) if you aren't comfy with some money for them. No worries to say no though if it won't work just now - can always tuck the idea away for next year so absolutely no pressure at all.

  13. Sending you an email, Jacqui. :)


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