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Sexing Chicks and a very very naughty husband

8 replies

somebodysfool · 03/05/2010 13:34

My husband is in my bad books at the moment in fact he's there an awful lot and I sometimes think I have 3 children not two. The naughty so and so has put some fertilised eggs under one of our broody hens! I only found out when I removed them to stop her being broody and realised they had blooming writing on them. Felt guilty so put them back.

The thing is we have not got room for more than 2 more fully grown hens unless we buy another hen house which in not happening and also we can't keep any cockerels due to noise nuisance to neighbours.

I am kind of hoping they won't hatch but some at least probably will. I would imagine we could sell the hens or give them away my preference but what about the cocks? I will need rid before they start crowing and would not have the heart to dispatch them to great cooking pot in the sky and I doubt he would either. Do people ever want cocks or can't you even give them away.

The eggs are silkies and Aracunas and both lovely docile breeds the latter laying blue eggs. If any one wants to take some off my hands if they do hatch let me know we are in Canterbury.

Also has anyone else raised chicks do you have any tips etc what is the best age to move them on? I am really worried about any cocks crowing so do you know what age this would occur for these breeds. I am really angry he has put me in this position just so he can play farmer Joe.

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somebodysfool · 03/05/2010 13:36

In my rant I forgot to ask if there is an easy way to sex them?

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meltedmarsbars · 03/05/2010 17:06

Make sure no other hen can get to her and lay more eggs beside the broody.

Usually 21 days to hatch, about 19 if they are bantams, then count on 4 weeks with the mother before they can come off.

Traditionalists feed chopped hard-boiled egg for the first meal then chick crumbs and access to shallow drinking water (they can drown).

You can sell cockerels for breeding if they're good enough, or for fattening if appropriate.

The cockerels crow at puberty, but you can often tell early on by their fighting each other.

Some breeds eg marans are identifiable at 4 weeks, I don't know about yours - have a look on the breeders' websites?

Most of all, have fun

somebodysfool · 03/05/2010 19:30

Meltedmarsbars thanks so much hard boiled eggs I am shocked but makes sense. Will get some chick crumbs and keep an eye for fighting if they hatch that is.

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isthatporridgeinyourzone · 03/05/2010 20:37

I have silkies and even experienced breeders usually can't sex them until at least 12 weeks.

somebodysfool · 03/05/2010 22:50

Great that means they won't be crowing before that time which is good. They are very beautiful aren't they. Have you hatched eggs how many out of the 12 do you think if any will hatch?

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isthatporridgeinyourzone · 04/05/2010 10:58

Yes - hatch 100-200 a year. Fertility will depend on ahem, the activeness of your cockeral. I usually anticipate hatch rates of 70%. Yes they are beautiful birds - good luck

meltedmarsbars · 04/05/2010 11:59

We have had 11 out of 12 for marans, but so far only 5 out of 9 for lemon cuckoo pekins - mother hen still sitting.

somebodysfool · 06/05/2010 16:03

Hi they were fertilised eggs he bought from a chicken sanctuary so can't vouch for the cockeral's virility but knowing my luck they are absolute studs!

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