Sunday 18 January 2015

Ixworth and Bresse Gauloise hatching eggs for sale

Ready for hatching
About a week after the winter solstice the hens start laying again; they have a new set of feathers, they've fattened up a bit, their combs are bright red. Its the run up to the breeding season.

I have set some Bresse Gauloise and Ixworth eggs in a small incubator it takes 24. I don 't really want a lot of chicks too early in the year this is to test their fertility for buyers of hatching eggs.

After six days its possible to see if the eggs have developing embryos by examining them with a bright light. This is "candling" the "clear" infertile  eggs are bright and transparent , the fertile ones show a network of blood vessels, the developing embryo.

Ignore the humidity reading (57) the eggs have just been set,
it will be normal (45) after a few hours
I expect that somewhere between 80 and 90 per cent of the eggs will be fertile, its important to know this because buyers have high expectations and always count their chickens before they hatch. If fertility is less than 80 per cent I'll wait and try again later in the season.

The Ixworths are one of our rarest breeds and because the population is small inbreeding and resulting infertility are common; so much so that I have started afresh with Ixworths by crossing two distinct strains  bred by Fergus Morrison. the result of crossing the two different but slightly   inbred strains should be a good degree of "hybrid vigour" and high fertility in the next generation.

I only have one male and one female Ixworth, a pine marten killed the other hen. If you want try rearing one of the UK's rarest breeds You can have six eggs. They'll take a week to collect and are two pounds each plus postage.

There's more information on Ixworth and Bresse poultry on the blog page, March 2013.

No comments: