Friday 25 September 2020

Meat Crosses Hatch

This year we've been plagued by bad hatch rates, I've kept changing my methods but I think having posted eggs really doesn't help things. 

These chicks are from our own eggs, with a Indian Game cockerel over some Colombian Plymouth Rock hens. 

What a difference in hatch rate!

 I put in 16 eggs and it looks like we'll get 15 chicks (one is still hatching at the moment - as I write this we have 14 chicks). Two are Indian Game bantams which are still a useful bird to hatch out. The one egg I knew hadn't developed at 10 days so I had already discounted that. This was with a completely dry hatch, no water added at any point during incubation. 

I love how this is our 6th or 7th hatch this year and the kids (and me) are still super excited about it. I'm hoping these birds grow quickly and have a good size to them. The plan is to kill them at 18 weeks(ish) although I might keep a few hens and cross them back to a different Indian Game cockerel to see what happens to the size of the birds then (on the advice of an expert in these breeds)

 After all this hatching this year it really makes me wonder if eBay posted eggs are worth the hassle. I suppose it's a means to an end, I'll need new breeding stock and will have to buy in eggs to keep bloodlines fresh but if I can do it locally then it'll be a much better job in future. 

I have a few breeding flocks set up now for next year and can produce some pure Indian Game birds but still need a few birds to complete the other flocks if possible so might have to buy some online - but I wonder if I'd be better off driving to pick them up if it's not too far. 

There is somewhat of a dawn chorus around here with different male birds competing to be heard - but to me that's the sound of the countryside.  

What is everyone's experience with posted eggs? Worth the hassle to get rate birds and the stock you want?


  1. Getting hatchable eggs through the post sounds like my one attempt to get qqueen bees by post. Never again. I completely understand the 'fetch them yourself' conclusion. Well done on this last batch tho, and delightfully cute of course.

  2. Very disappointed in the eggs I ordered this summer- just one out of six hatched under a reliable broody hen and then the chick keeled over at a few weeks old.


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