The diary of two novice gardeners and allotmenteers

Chris and Steve's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: hatch

Call Duck Hatch

The final count of baby call ducks for this season is twelve. I have four sets of  ‘babies’ of different ages to look after. I shall have to find new homes for some of them which is always a wrench. The difficult bit is deciding who to keep and who to sell.

Jemima – Broody Call Duck

Jemima, our white Call Duck, is sitting on a nest of fertile eggs so I hope she has some luck this year. This is her second season and last year she only had one surviving duckling. Puddles, her mate is standing guard on top of their hutch and warding off all comers. We only have four call ducks now in the garden and things are much quieter and tidier. The second pair are Myley, Jemima’s baby and Rosie, one of the ducklings I hatched out last year in the incubator. They are living together and so far Rosie has six eggs in her nest. It broke our hearts to let the other calls and the runner ducks go but they are all now living in lovely places with loads of space and plenty of grass. We shall probably have to sell the ducklings if they hatch but it all helps to pay for food and bedding and the ducks will be much happier and content if they are allowed to rear a brood of their own. The ducks aren’t the only ones who are broody in the garden but as the chickens don’t have a cockerel with them there won’t be any chicks this year.

Duckling Surprise

Look for the small things in life to bring joy. (Confucius)

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We had given up on any ducklings from Jemima and Puddles as most of their eggs have been infertile. However, this morning, to my great surprise one of the eggs had pipped and by this evening we had a beautiful baby duck. I have already bought some duck eggs from ebay and they should arrive tomorrow. The bought ones are mixed colours so we don’t know what to expect. Waiting for Libbie to come up with a name for the new baby now.

Torrential Rain and More to Come.

After a day of torrential rain the weather finally cleared up enough for us to pop down to the plots and install the second Cucumber Carmen in the lean to. The first plant is still surviving despite the cold spell we have had. We had a walk round to check on everything and so far no disasters and all the mini greenhouses are is still standing. We bought home the first of the pointed cabbage and some chard. Most of the seeds we sowed are through and the potatoes are doing really well. Rob is off work next week so we hope that the weather will allow is to complete the new fruit cage, plant the runner beans and get some pumpkins and squash into the ground.

Back at home the melon seedling have been turfed out of the broody box to make way for seven new chicks, the final count of the hatch is two Pekins and five Orpington bantams. There is still a lot of potting on to do as the seedlings of pumpkins, butternut squash, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet corn, melons and pak choi are all crying out for attention.

White Faverolles Bantam

Today I have received twelve hatching eggs of the White Faverolles Bantam from Benjamin Shepherd, a breeder from Lancaster. The link to his website is on the sidebar under friends. They will go into the incubator tomorrow along with six replacement eggs of the Buff Plymouth Rock as only one of the first batch of eggs was fertile and the breeder very kindly replaced them. I have bought a ‘Brooder Hen’ from P&T Poultry Supplies. It is an electrically heated plate that hangs above chicks in a broody box to supply them with constant body heat for the first few weeks of life.

White Faverolles BantamPictures courtesy of Benjamin Shepherd

Faverolles originate from the village of Faverolles in Northern France and were created from a mix of several different breeds. They have a broad, square body with small wings, a single upright comb, short neck, a striking beard and muffing. The head is broad and round and the eyes are reddish bay. The pinkish legs are sparsely feathered with the feathering concentrated on the outer toe. They have five toes. They are quiet, friendly, gentle birds that can actually become very affectionate towards their keepers and are an ideal breed for children. They are alert, active birds and the hens make very good broodies and mothers. The hens will actually lay prolifically over winter. They are not good fliers. Information from omlet.com

 

Five Fluffy Chicks – Hello Flossie

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(Update – of the five chicks, two had to be culled as they both had seriously splayed legs and just couldn’t cope. Two are cockerels and are going to live in Manchester and one seems to be a pullet so she will stay here. I am quite happy to have one Apenzeller to add to our little flock)

Delivery Day?

Well day 21 has arived but I didn’t get up this morning to the sound of cheeping. I think I can see slight wobble from two of the eggs but that may be my eyes deceiving me. we shall have to wait and see. Hatching is all about patience and I don’t have any.

I have a delivery coming today from Wickes; masonry paint to clean up the concrete posts ready for the fence, several bags of compost so I can get cracking on sowing some seeds, creosote to paint the inside of the chicken shed, as well as sand and gravel. Looks like a busy time ahead. Good deal though as Wickes Direct is new in our area and was offering free delivery and 15% off for new customers.

Hatch update – 17th Feb 9pm – first chick fully out and looking strong. – 19th Feb – last chick hatched mid morning today making a hatch rate of five out of the six eggs. A good result.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben for a Spring Hatch

appenzeller-spitzhaubenemma.jpgThis is the national breed of Switzerland. The feathers of the crest are forward facing. Spitzhauben means pointed hat or bonnet. The plumage markings are black-tipped feathers. With their crest, V-comb, and spangled plumage, these birds are very attractive. They lay a beautiful white medium sized egg. 

I have bought six hatching eggs of the above breed for hatching in the incubator. (Sorry Sean)

Wet but Warmer

Well the seedlings certainly had a good watering in the early hours of today. The rain was very heavy and temperatures as the morning has progressed are getting better.

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The incubation continues well and we now have four silkie chicks in with the two pekins. Still nine eggs left though. I am not sure how long to leave them before I give up on them. It is only day 22 today so I will wait for now.

Final count from 16 eggs on day 23 was six live chicks, 2 pekin, 4 silkie, 2 dead in shell and 8 eggs not developed at all