Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Half Way Point

So, today is the serama hatching experiment's half way point. And I must confess to being a very bad chicken keeper. I just very quickly candled Vera's eggs while she took a food and water break. I used a tiny LED torch for mere seconds, so heat and light disruption were minimal. One egg is definitely clear, with no development whatsoever. The other two are more promising. Air sac's present and correct at the blunt end and a dark, possibly moving mass towards the pointy end. I replaced all three eggs before Vera noticed they were missing, and watched her for a moment to make sure she would settle again. Thankfully, she has. I am now wondering if I should remove the obvious dud, or whether that would upset her. Any advice from more experienced chicken people most appreciated.

Having candled Vera's eggs, it was but a moments work to briefly candle the incy eggs. Disappointingly, only 3 of the eggs in the incubator show air sacs and development. The other six are completely clear. Whether this is down to the postal system, or a cockerel not doing his job, is hard to say. So now I know that I have five precious serama embryo's at the half way point. The odds aren't great, but I shall persevere.

In other news, the flock has been a gobby nightmare. Spring has well and truly sprung, and the girls seem to think that the best possible way of celebrating this is to screech their heads off en masse at 6am. Not good. So last night I shut them in the coop hoping that the dark would keep them quiet. No such luck. At 6.30am I was ejected from the bed by the ever tolerant husband to 'shut those bloody hens up'. When I arrived, blearily, at the coop I found a general air of narkedness paired with the occassional highly indignant bok-ARK. They had clearly got up for breakfast, and finding their way barred, decided to complain loudly to the management. I'll be glad when this spring fever has passed, and no doubt so will the neighbours.

I leave you with the youngest's interpretation of an easter chick. Bet you can't guess who.


  1. Take the clear egg away. She can't count - she's a chicken! ;-)

  2. My new hens have just started doing the big, cartoon chicken stlye "bock-ARK" noise. It frightened the life out of me as I charged up the garden, dog in tow assuming they were being attacked. She was just sat there looking at me like butter wouldn't melt with eyes that said "Me? No! Now give me a snack!" Luckily they wake up later than me so the only noise I get at 6.30am is the sound of disgruntled hens being woken up!

    Good luck with the eggs- very exciting!

  3. Take the clear one away - she may look like she's counting them a few times but then she'll settle. You don't want it exploding and killing the good ones. We had absolutely terrible luck with serama eggs that were shipped or even went by car. Our first hatch was one of ten, eight clears and two developed and one hatched. When we got our own and switched their diet to a higher-protein pellet and incubated immediately instead of hoarding until we had a full dozen, we suddenly had babies everywhere. I think we're running around 70% hatching right now, which is as high as anybody ever gets in seramas. I hate to say it, but I think most people with them work like the dickens to get a few shipped eggs to hatch and then with a sigh of relief switch to breeding their own. Of course, having done that now I'm inundated with microscopic roosters, one of whom started crowing at four weeks old -- peep scree! he would shriek. Peep scree!