Our ducks lay blue eggs-2 Indian Runner Ducks drakes available

January 15th, 2013

What a surprise we got this weekend when we started finding blue eggs in the duck house. Our young Black Indian Runner duck has started to lay and is producing one beautiful blue egg per day. Very pretty and most unexpected. All out other ducks (Aylesbury ducks) lay large white eggs. We bought three Indian runner ducklings in the summer and two turned out to be drakes and one a female. We will need to get some more ducks as the eggs are lovely and find some new homes for the drakes. They are gorgeous young drakes with shiny black feathers and lovely temperament & would be great for breeding stock.

Bantam chickens and snow

January 15th, 2013

Bantam chickens & snow

It has snowed all day today and the little bantams are not keen. They have stayed in their house and just peeked out the door. Click on the link above to see a picture of them.

Hatching eggs have arrived

January 15th, 2013

The hatching eggs arrived this morning with the postman with no breakages thank goodness. They were ordered at the weekend on ebay , dispatched yesterday and arrived safely today despite the snowfall overnight-well done Royal Mail. They were also very well packed by the efficient ebayer.

Now they need to sit for 24 hours at room temerature and air.

Its snowing heavily in Norfolk so the perfect day to sit inside with a cup of tea. Have already lit the fire. Next thing is to get the incubator out of the attic and give it a good clean ready for incubating.

Ordered some hatching eggs on ebay

January 14th, 2013

We want to increase our flock of rare breed chickens and bring some new blood in so we have purchased some Cuckoo Maran & Light Sussex eggs on ebay for hatching for . We did this last year and the hatch rates were very good. The prices for hatching eggs are quite high at the moment as it is still early in the year.

Cant wait for them to arrive and set up the incubator. Now where did we put it-in the loft I think.

Must get it out today and make sure it is clean and working.

Snow & chickens and blue eggs

January 14th, 2013

We have our first snow of the year today. Lets see how the bantams get on with it. They’re feet are so fluffy and feathered. I think they may choose to stay inside today.

Chickens and ducks are laying well and our black indian runner ducks have just come into lay and the eggs are blue. Got such a surprise when we went to collect the eggs from duck house and there were two blue ones.

Will post some pictures later when the light is good enough to take them.

Lavender pekin bantam cockerals for sale in Norfolk

November 25th, 2012

We currently have 2 lavender pekin cockerals available to new homes. They are in perfect condition and are on sale for £5 each. They are currently free range and are kept with a range of different bantams mainly other pekins. hatched June 2012

Both birds a first rate and ideal for breeding stock in 2013.

Lavender pekin

cuckoo maran chickens for sale price from £5.00 Nottinghamshire April 2012

April 23rd, 2012

We have pure breed cuckoo marans chicks available for sale

Unsexed 10 day old chicks £5.00

2-4 week chicks £7.50

Collection only. Location Nottinghamshire UK will require some heat. Healthy Growers and layers of superb dark brown eggs.

Txt or call for details 07885 549 545

Buff Orpington L/F hatching eggs bought on e-bay

April 18th, 2012

21 days ago we entered 6 buff orpington large fowl eggs purchased and delivered from e-bay into our incubator. We stopped turning the eggs on sunday and today the first one has pipped with audible chirping from within. they are being left well alone for the next 24hrs, and hopefully more will start to hatch overnight.

These eggs were in the same incubator as the Marans and silkie eggs, so they have had quite a bit of open incubator time. I suspect our hatch rate may not be great, but 24 hrs ago I thought none were alive.

Does opening an incubator reduce the hatch rate ?

April 18th, 2012

I have researched this online and the general impression is yes, it can affect the hatch rate, even in the early stages of incubation. Commercial hatcheries certainly do not allow opening of incubators until day 18, when eggs are removed from turners and placed in increased moisture hatchers then not interfered with until hatching is complete, this is sometimes refered to as lockdown of the incubator.

It also appears that opening incubators to candle eggs at day 8-10 will also reduce success rates. Most hatcheries candle at 18 days at the same time as removing the eggs to a hatching area and stopping turning.

Eggs like a constant temperature environment with minimal fluctuations and an during the critical hatching period a reduction in the moisture increases the risk of the membranes drying sufficiently to harden and effectively trap the chick within the egg, unable to break out and hatch. Some hobby keepers suggest a sqirt of warm water from a mist spray if you open the  incubator to remove hatched chicks. It can take 30minutes to an hour to stabalise the water vapour levels inside the incubator compartment depending of the volumn and design. I suppose in theory incubators with larger heaters and fans stabalise faster, and those with digital control settings for temperature and moisture levels will be better able to adjust to sudden changes.

I have read reports of hatch rates dropping for 90% down to 40% with the only variation being frequent opening for inspection, candling and chick removal. these reports are all casual and there have not been any formal scientific studies I can find.

Silkie bantam hatch rates poor and delayed

April 17th, 2012

Starting with 12 silkie bantam eggs we were down to 9 by candling at day 10, one further failed to develop and was removed before the hatch, but a disapointing 4 eggs hatched and only 3 chicks survived the first 48hrs, one not making it out of the shell

Not a great hatch rate from 9 definately fertile eggs. I suspect the problem could be down to the eggs being in the same incubator as our maran eggs which, although started at identical times, hatched 48 hrs ahead of the silkies, resulting in the incubator having to be opened during the critical hatching period.

I cant explain the delay in hatching, all the advice suggested bantam eggs may be the first to hatch, sometimes from only 19 days incubation, but this seemed to be reversed for us with the 3 surviving silkies hatching on day 23