Jack Schmidling Productions, Inc.
18016 Church Road ~ Marengo IL 60152
Phone:815 923 0031 ~ Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
We have had chickens for 12 years but have been plagued with problems trying to breed them ourselves. The most common problem is that the hen looses interest before they hatch and we end up incubating them and then have to play mother hen for weeks. In spite of rumors to the contrary, roosters don't work very well. Out of a dozen eggs, we are lucky to have one or two fertile and if they make it to hatching something else goes wrong and the few survivors we have had have all been roosters.
We gave up trying years ago and just buy new chicks every few years and let the old girls fade away.
ONE DAY OLD
This year one of the hens got into a mothering way and started collecting eggs on her own and has been sitting on them for what seems like months. We didn't see any point in spoiling her fun so we just let her sit on them.
Well guess what? Marilyn was collecting eggs Sunday morning and heard some peeping and here we are with the joy of watching little mother do all the work.
We candled the rest of the eggs and they were all duds so we chucked them and made mom and chick a little home in the nice warm shop.
HOME SWEET HOME
Here they are catching up on the news.
As a point of interest, "Mom" is obviously not the real mom as you would expect some black in the chick. Dad is Sam, our only rooster and is a Buff Orpington which is about the color of the chick. Real mom is probably one of the other Buffs or a Rhode Island Red.
SUCCESS TIMES FOUR
In the twelve years we have had chickens here, we have never hatched out more than one in any season and more often than not, zero.
This poor hen, just wouldn't quit this year. After sitting on a clutch for 23 days, we tossed the eggs and gave her 5 more. After another 23 days, we tossed the eggs and gave her 5 more.
The other morning around day 21 she was off the nest and I noticed a hole in one of the eggs. I had sort of become brain dead by now and was going to throw out the broken egg when it started peeping. Needless to say, I put it back and reported to Marilyn. By the next day, 4 of the 5 hatched and I tossed the last egg and it was just a stinky mess.
I won't try to explain how 10 out of 10 were infertile and the next 4 out of 5
were fertile but then I gave up trying to explain chicken behavior long ago.
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