Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Just over a week to go

We have hatched many eggs in our incubator but our only previous attempt to have a brooding hen sit on eggs and hatch them turned out to be a failure. That was last year but we did learn from that attempt. The biggest mistake was to leave the hen with the eggs in one of the henhouses where she was constantly interrupted by other hens. We regularly found new eggs in the nest. In the end, none of them hatched.

This time we are hoping to be more successful. Ginger, our Columbian Blacktail, went broody recently so we have put her in her own henhouse with 6 welsummer eggs where she can't be disturbed by others. We let her out once a day though she is getting a bit aggressive towards other hens. The eggs are due to hatch a week on Thursday. We have some eggs in the incubator as well and they are due to hatch three days later. I am hoping Ginger will act as foster mum to both the eggs she will hopefully hatch and to the incubator chicks.

My plan is to put them all into the quailhouse which should be finished by then. This will give the chicks protection against vermin. The quailhouse itself is very large so there will be plenty of room in there for our 15 quail and Ginger and her chicks. Once they are big enough, at about two weeks, we will move them out to go free range.

Photo above - Ginger taking a rest this afternoon from brooding.

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