I try to hatch a few chicks every year. It's good to grow my own replacement chickens, not to mention the fact that the girls, the wife and me love them!
These ones couldn't have been better timed if I had tried. After a rubbish week we came home and had six little chicks hatch the very next day, the girls thought it was wonderful.
The six hatched out nine eggs so I was quite pleased, the cockerel is still proving his worth. Yesterday I was talking to a farmers wife that commercially breeds chickens for hatching eggs (we're talking thousands upon thousands here) and she was telling me that as the age of the chickens increase they increase the number of cockerels in the pen to maintain the right level of fertility. Really interesting but it also raised a question for me and that's the fact that we don't often look at the complete life cycle of chickens we buy, these were kept indoors but the hatching eggs that they lay and subsequent chickens could have been for free ranged meat birds. Does that still make them free ranged?
I still have a few more broody hens so I'm tempted to buy some hatching eggs off the internet of a different breed - what's your favourite chicken breed? I'm tempted to go for Light Sussex as I used to have these when I used to hatch some as a teenager.