We decided to try to hatch some eggs from our own flock
with the end goal being to add several hens.
We also were worried about Roo, who had been less
than robust over much of the winter.
In the spring of 2015 we set up Roo in a smaller coop
along with his counterpart, a mille fleur cochin banty like
himself, and a blue cochin hen as well.
We are not sure if it was the warming weather or what,
but Roo soon was back to his old self,
in fact feistier than he'd ever been!
I waited several weeks after I'd seen him mating with
his hens, then began to save eggs.
I marked the dates in pencil on them.
Once I had 13 eggs I set them in the incubator.
Next day they laid two more so I figured I'd
add those as well.
When the incubator said there were 2 days
remaining, I noticed some pip marks and
checked my original web pages from the first
hatching, and realized that they would most likely
be hatching a day or two early.
We went to bed hoping there would be a chick
in the morning.
Today, July 15th, first thing, I ran to check and sure enough,
we had a baby! It was still wet and exhausted.
About an hour later, another baby was hatched...
And again in an hour...
Are they the cutest things or what?!
Notice the middle chick above seems to have yellow/brown?
The other two seem more black/blue/grey tones.
While it seems obvious that mille fleur crossed with mille fleur
should give us all mille fleur kids, I had no idea what the blue
hen crossed with mille fleur would give us. Searching online
I found that it should give us both black and blue kids.
Looking at the difference in the colors of the chicks above,
I'm guessing there is one mille fleur (the yellow/brown toned chick)
and two that are either blue or black.
It will be interesting to see how this works out!
By bedtime on hatch day we had 12 little fluffballs.
I'm guessing from the colors that we may have
6 mille fleur (any with yellow/brown),
5 gray, and one black.
There were still 3 eggs remaining the next morning, and one
of those hatched out just after 8:30 AM. Two to go, and so
far a VERY successful hatch! By the end of the day, we had
14 chicks. I helped one out of the egg (the shell was wicked
hard) and the other was dead-in-shell at about the midway
point. The kids are gorgeous little fluffballs.
Update 7/21/15: The 14 kids are still doing great and are now
6 days old. I *think* we have 6 mille fleur, 1 black, and 7 blue.
Checking them out in the light of what I'd read on wing sexing,
I would say all the mille fleur, the black, and 1 of the blues
are hens, with the 6 remaining blues being roos. It will be
interesting to see how that pans out!
Here's a picture of the kids taken today:
|July 24, 2015: In this picture the chicks are 9 days old. Cute!|