3 days to Hatching: Yesterday, I candled the eggs "Black & Tan" is brooding. Now they are on lockdown. I broke out my new favorite candling device, the Ova Scope, to check out how the eggs were developing. Until now, I had been going oldschool with a flashlight in the middle of the night. I removed and confirmed two clears. Three of the remaining six look like they are progressing nicely. The other three look like they are developing behind schedule. If she gives up on them after a couple days, I plan to put them under "White Russian" who decided to go broody on a few ceramic eggs (Can you tell we were at happy hour when we chose those names?).
I'll be very excited if all six hatch out as pure Silkies, although the Silkie/Cochin mixes are quite adorable and are excellent brooders for Silkie eggs. Silkies always seem to have less than enthusiastic hatch rates. I believe part of it is due to difficulties mating with their big fluffy butts and sometimes new hatchlings can get caught up in the hen's under feathers, which are more hair like. I try to improve my odds by giving them what I call the "Brazilian Chicken" haircut around their vents and before they go broody I trim the long underfluff shorter to minimize the chances of it strangling the hatchlings. After this hatching, I plan to focus primarily on Buff Bearded Silkies. Another reason I'm selling "Kramer" is that he must have a non-white base (i.e., when I mate him, I cannot predict the coloring of his offspring).
15 days to Spring: Mother Nature is still messing with us over here. Yesterday we woke up to a layer of snow on the ground and on the trees. It was actually quite beautiful and I wish I had taken a picture of the snow covered trees framing our country road. But by lunch there wasn't a trace of it anywhere. So back to thinking about Spring. I can't wait until the trees bloom, the pasture really gets going, and we can turn on the water at the coop for a good overhaul cleaning and power washing of everything plastic. I am in love with my Omlet chicken coops and runs. They are so easy to clean and clean housing = happy healthy chickens. For links to these runs and other products I highly recommend, visit our 'Resources' page.
I'd love to hear about your upcoming hatchings and plans for Spring. If you would like me to write about any topic in particular, leave a comment below. I plan on blogging about chicken first aid soon and on how to bathe a Silkie when the weather is warm enough for their "Spring Cleaning". I also plan on adding more pictures to the gallery and adding more items to our 'Store'. If interested in buying anything from now until March 20th, use coupon code COUNTDOWNTOSPRING for a 10% discount. Cheers!
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