Daisy, a Welsummer hen hatched her chicks yesterday and this morning. She was setting on seven eggs. Yesterday the first one hatched out, the second one didn’t make it and died and the five remaining went into the night. I don’t know if chicks hatch out at night or somehow know when it is morning and wait, but by 9 am this morning I counted five. I might have missed the sixth one or it might not be hatched yet. We’ll know later today. She was setting on two Maran or Welsummer eggs and five Ameraucana eggs. There are only two roosters – a Maran and a Rhode Island Red – but the Red is dominant and seems to do most of the fertilizing. So they are likely Red crosses with a slight possibility of a pure Maran. All the chicks are black with the exception of the one that died.
When Tilda hatched her eggs two years ago, they were mostly black as well. I wonder if that is common for crosses. They might not stay black, but we’ll have to wait to see how they turn out when their feathers come in. Tilda’s crosses were nice big birds and the hens have been good layers.
We plan to breed the Maran with the three Maran hens this year, but I need to build another nursery coop before that can happen. I better get moving.