Yesterday we went and picked up the new chicks we ordered to brood with Ruth and Naomi. I had ordered 5 Dark Brahma Hens, 1 Dark Brahma Rooster, 1 Buff Brahma Rooster, and 3 Silkies (they only come as a straight run). Unfortunately, the Buff Brahma Rooster died in shipping. 😦 But the feed store didn’t charge me for him and gave me a Light Brahma Hen to replace him. So that leaves us with only one rooster to replace the one that became dinner. Hopefully this one survives and is a good one.
We got the Silkies specifically for their broodiness. They are our insurance policy in case none of our others will go broody. We want to use hens, not an incubator and brooder, to raise our chicks.
So we are brooding 12 chicks in this batch. They range in age from a day old to 2 weeks old. They all seem to be getting along with each other fine.
We decided since we already had Ruth and Naomi we would stick with the Bible-themed names for this group. We’ve got Rahab, Sarai, Delilah, Jezabel, Mary, Rachel, Leah, Eve, and Boaz. Granted, chances are that at least one of the Silkies is a rooster, so those names wont all stick. But it’s a fun start.
And of course, I have to share some pictures of the cuteness!
Our incubation has reached 5 days and we have checked fertility. These eggs are from our friends’ flock, we agreed to run a round for them to help replace what they lost to the bear. We have found something interesting about their rooster. He is definitely fertile, but he is very picky about who he will breed. Not even one of the light-colored eggs is fertile. They have two girls in the breeding pen that lay light-colored eggs, they are both Rhode Island Reds. Of the medium brown eggs about half were fertile and half were not. Of the green eggs there was 75% fertility. And the dark browns had 100% fertility. Interesting. One would think that if the rooster had fertility issues it would be spread evenly over all the colors, like 50% off all eggs. But no, it was color specific. Has anyone ever heard of a “racist” rooster that refused to breed a certain color hen?
We have had a “racist” buck rabbit before. He was a Palomino and refused to breed any doe that wasn’t a Palomino. I am not kidding. The breeder we bought him from didn’t believe me. We tried him on our Champagne does and our Red New Zealand does and he wouldn’t breed them. But he would breed the Palomino doe. So the breeder took him back, not believing us, and called me a week later. She said she absolutely could not get him to breed any of her does except the Palomino ones. And she then totally believed me. It was crazy.
So I guess that is happening with this rooster as well. I guess his time in her breeding program is very limited at this point.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean good things for her clutch. Only 19 of the 38 eggs she put in are fertile. 😦
If you remember, the one egg that hatched from our last incubation belonged to them. They told us we could keep that chick and I agreed to put a couple of eggs from our hen, Salt, into her incubation. Well, two days before we were to collect the eggs from Salt for hatching, the rooster attacked my daughter and went to the stew pot. I collected the eggs anyway. One was two days after he was with her and one was 3 days after he was with her. Both are fertile! So I guess the rooster (that is no longer alive) had good fertility. Not that it matters now, except for the fact that at least our friends have two more good eggs in their clutch.
I’m keeping a close eye on turning of this batch, as well as temp and humidity. We are really hoping for a successful hatch this time around.