Sunday 21 September 2014

New Ixworth genes

After a failed attempt last year to start a new flock of Ixworths with hatching eggs from four different breeders I am trying again. Last year's attempt failed because of inbreeding. The birds in each flock supplying eggs were too closely related. This is a common problem with rare breeds, only three eggs hatched out of twenty four.

New stock and new genes
Last week I exchanged a pen of three Bresse Gauloise hens and a cockerel for two Ixworth pullets and a cockerel. Fergus Morrison has maintained two distinct families of Ixworths, the pullets are from one and the cockerel from the other. The result of this mating should be that the eggs are fertile and the offspring more vigorous.

It meant a 200 mile round trip to "Drum"  (Drumnadrochit) on referendum day (I had a postal vote) the road was festooned with "YES" placards. Sadly we will have to store them for the next time, which might not be too far off if the government in Westminster fails to keep its promises.

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