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  Posted on 02/18/2011 06:34 AM
Northeastern Poultry Congress Show 2011
  Posted on 01/17/2011 10:06 AM
Marking Hatchlings
  Posted on 05/03/2010 11:03 AM
Silkies hatching
  Posted on 05/03/2010 11:02 AM
Happy Spring!
  Posted on 04/08/2010 07:09 AM
Spring is around the corner
  Posted on 01/18/2010 04:30 PM
Shut down the incubators
  Posted on 10/22/2009 12:54 PM
Marking Hatchlings

With my silkies, I am doing sort of a pedigree mating. I am keeping track of which hen and rooster produces which chicks. This starts before the eggs are laid. Once I pair up the chickens, I dont start collecting eggs until 3 weeks have passed. This way, I am sure that the chicks I hatch are from that rooster. If I am keeping a trio together, I use food dye inserted into the hens butts. I redo this every 5 or so days. This way, when the hen laying the eggs her eggs come out with food dye on it, so I can be sure which hen laid which egg. Once I gather the eggs, each egg gets the mating written on it in pencil. If the hens band is 55 pink and the roosters band is 63 pink. I write "55pX63p" on the egg, along with the day the egg was laid. Once it comes time to put the eggs in the incubator, I rewrite this info in a fine point sharpie, so I can be sure it wont rub off in the incubator. I have 2 incubators I use as hatchers. This means that I can only incubate eggs from 2 different hens at one time. When they hatch the eggs from one hen go into one hatcher and the other hens eggs in another hatcher. I have tried dividing up the incubator with some hardwire cloth, but the chicks hop right over it.

Once the chicks hatch, they stay in the incubators for around 24 hours so they are all dry when I remove them. I take each chick out and I mark down its back with a sharpie. For example, chicks from one hen will get blue and the other chicks will get red. This lasts until the chicks down turns into feathers. I have never had a problem with chicks pecking at eachothers marking. At 1 week of age, the chicks get permanent numbered wing bands applied. I record the wing band number (and color if there is one), and the parents info, their hatch date, and some notes about the chicks. I apply numbered plastic bandettes once the chicks legs are big enough so they stay on without slipping. I have a binder that I keep all these records in. As the chicks grow, I take notes on each individual chick, and guesses on gender.  

  Posted on 05/03/2010 11:03 AM