Even More Silkies

An unexpected black one

An unexpected black one

Using an incubator wouldn’t be the same if the experience was stress-free and idiot-proof. On about day ten of the incubation process, I accidentally switched off the automatic turning cradles and they stayed off for four days. It seems to have had quite an impact on the successful hatch rate, and only half a dozen birds made it out of their shells. But that is not where the streak of bad luck ended. The smallest chick (a black pekin), then drowned itself in the incubator reservoir just moments before they were all going to be moved out and put into a brooder. It’s actually quite hard to see how the little bleeder managed to do it, but with the cussed determination which sometimes shines through in the world of livestock, it pulled off the job very satisfactorily.

There are now five silkies and silkie crosses under an electric hen – new recruits for the ongoing mission to establish a flock of traditional keeper’s broodies. Chances are they’ll all be cockerels, but the joy of silkies is that I won’t know for several weeks…

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