Friday, February 5, 2010

Chickam Candidates Are Started!

Chickam is on the way!

The two incubators are up & running and rule in solitary splendor on my kitchen island...

...with all their assorted temperature probes & hygrometers. Inside they hold a total of 61 eggs, half in each unit. There are 16 Giant Cochin eggs (6 Golden Laced, 5 Blue and 5 Lemon-Blue), 17 Silkie eggs (3 each Cuckoo, Black, Buff, White and Splash, 2 Blue Splash), 15 Belgian d'Uccle (4 Self Blue, 5 Porcelain and 3 each Black Mottled and MilleFleur) and 13 Salmon Favorelle eggs.

We decided to do something a little different this year, and are not hatching any of our own chickens' eggs. Instead, all of the eggs were ordered online and were shipped via the USPS from the eastern U.S., so the hatch rate automatically drops--shipped eggs are vulnerable to possible rough handling by USPS workers. But all of the eggs were securely wrapped and came through beautifully, and look to be of outstanding quality. Several of the breeds are on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy list of breeds in danger of being lost forever. Salmon Favorelles are listed as 'Critical', and Cochins are on the 'Watch' list. So by buying their eggs and hatching them we are both increasing demand for the breed and creating more of them.

The eggs are numbered in order to keep track online of which one(s) are hatching, and the X on one side and O on the other are registration marks for us, so we can tell which ones we've turned. The eggs need to be turned by hand 3 times a day, every day for 21 days.

There IS one thing...I've never owned Salmon Favorelles before but I've wanted them for a long time--I'm a sucker for fluffy-faced chickens. However, I'm not sure if this hen is representative of the breed--!


I LOVE her.
At any rate, hatch day and the Chickam start date is Friday, February 26th!

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