Heavy Breed Chicks

Well there’s been a lot going on this past week! Out of 13 eggs, only two didn’t hatch, and together I ended up with twelve chicks. No, I didn’t do the math wrong here… I actually ended up with twins hatching out the same egg! Interestingly enough I know they were paternal and not identical. How? Because they were black sex links, meaning males and females can be told apart directly after hatching by a white spot on the male’s head. You guessed it – the one who did the hatching was a male. The one stuck to the bottom of the egg was female. Sadly the female had very twisted limbs. Not only was her leg twisted so was her hip. I managed to straighten her leg with a home made hobble but her hip I was never able to get right. After four days unable to stand she died. I also lost another chick, one of the Orpinton’s babies, who had some sort of neurological disorder.

I cracked open the two duds to see what happened and was a bit shocked to find one was fully developed. There was nothing wrong with it – it was a chick but for some reason it never bothered to hatch despite being left in the incubator for a few extra days. It was also one of the Orpington’s babies which leads me to believe they’re messed up in more ways than just their retarded little minds. I will never be getting Orpingtons or allowing them to be part of my breeding program again! As I write this there is an adult Orpington out in my coop who without fail shows up to eat breakfast every morning soaking wet. I don’t mean a little damp – I mean every feather is soaked to the bone over her whole body. I have no idea what she’s doing but all I can do is shake my head and wonder how she’s managed to stay alive this long.

The surviving chicks are doing wonderful. It appears I have three sex link roosters from my barred rocks, one surviving Orpington I think is a hen, three chicks from my Light Brahamas (I am guessing 1-2 are roosters) 2 chicks from my partridge rocks, and one wee chick from my Dark Cornish who is smaller than the rest and just damned adorable. I am guessing I will end up with four or five pullets from the bunch.

Here is a photo of them today. The wee one in the bottom right hand corner is the one I think came from the Cornish. Look at her little gamey stance!

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