Equinoctial incubating

At 9.37 this morning we passed that magic moment when our noxes were equal and signalled the time to think about new life.

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Our main hen flock now has a good mixture of varieties

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which results in a varied range of egg colour from a bluish tinge through white and a range of browns to deep chocolate. When we sell our eggs we include a mixture of colours in each box.
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In the past we have both bought in point of lay birds and hatched eggs, both bought in and our own. When we have a well timed broody we can use her otherwise it is down to the incubators.

This year we decided to be more organised in two respects. Firstly, after suffering brought in diseases, we will not buy any more hens from outside. Secondly, we agreed to do all our hatching in one cohort. We have sometimes in the past been in the situation of looking after newly hatched chicks, older ones still needing a heat lamp and pullets too young to join the main flock – all at the same time, needing lots of different accommodations.

So after making a draught proof corner of the sitting room

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we set off 28 eggs on a 21 day journey

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We bought half a dozen Blue Splash French Maran – like this

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half a dozen Cuckoo Maran – a bit like this

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Also six Australorp. This is Honey currently our only Australorp – she is twice as big as some of the hens and occupies top position

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and also used some of our own eggs

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Eight of the latter came from our single-breed flock of Speckled Sussex
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with a couple of miscellaneous thrown in for good measure.

Here’s hoping for as few males as possible…

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