In the end we got a dozen chicks.
We’re very late this year (been having the kitchen done, which rather put other projects in the shade), but at last we’re hatching some Ixworth chicks.
We put 20 eggs in the R-com on Friday 24th May, so tomorrow lunchtime makes it exactly 21 days. We have 3 early arrivals:
I’ll start with our quail fail. When we returned from Church on Sunday morning, to our horror we were three down on the count in the brooder. We were conscious that the tiny birds could probably squeeze through the mesh, so we’d installed a cardboard wall. The chicks had discovered and widened a gap and made a bid for freedom.
The left hand corner was the weak point. We reinforced it at once to stop further escapes.
I’ll explain why later in this post, but as part of our poultry keeping kit I felt the need for a very precise set of scales. Something like a laboratory balance. And indeed I eventually found exactly what I was looking for on eBay.
But imagine my surprise when I first did an eBay search to find around two and a half thousand sets of precision scales for sale. There couldn’t be that high a demand for weighing jewellery, lab samples, and suchlike, surely?
I mentioned that we were incubating some duck eggs for a friend at the allotments. Duck eggs take a whole four weeks to hatch, and the exact due date is 6pm tomorrow evening.
The first one has arrived a day early.
I’ll start with a sentimental picture of adorable fluffy chicks, so that everyone can say, “Aaaaah”.
But the point of this post is simply to show eggs as they hatch. I managed to record all of the final four of our hatching eggs. Two on Friday lunchtime, one late afternoon, and the final one on Saturday morning at about 8am.
I’d planned to have started incubating our first batch of eggs by the end of February. If all three hens were laying, we should be able to collect 14 or so eggs in a week, which would make a reasonable load for our 20 egg incubator.
Alas, only senior hen is laying. The other two have seemed on the brink of starting to lay for weeks now, but no actual action. So I ordered eggs from two breeders, one in Lincolnshire, the other in Argyll & Bute. So there are 6 each of theirs plus 5 of ours in the incubator.