Tuesday, 29 June 2010

I've been away

but only from the computer, unfortunately! The weather has been so glorious these past few days that I have not wanted to be at the desk.

The big news here is that the latest hatching has happened now - 15 chicks are in a box under a lamp and growing fast. There are 8 Brown Sussex - so Lancelot is probably doing his stuff after all. Five of the eggs didn't hatch, but 62% is an improvement so I am not complaining about that. Five are Barred Plymouth Rock - they are from the 12 eggs I bought, and blogged about my anger at receiving such old eggs. As I suspected, the older eggs were the ones which didn't hatch. One of the chicks is a little blonde one who is also a Brown Sussex, but from a set of six eggs I bought in to develop another strain of BS for my breeding programme. One out of six isn't good. And the last chick is a Silver Laced Wyandotte from my own pair. Overall, I am pleased with what I have hatched, but a lot of the eggs haven't hatched - there is an incubator on which I am giving up today from which the SLW hatched - it was the only egg to hatch from 14.

So, what do I think is going wrong? The difficult thing is that I just don't know! The 8 BS were hatched in one of my very basic polystyrene box incubators which cost £25 from eBay - that incubator has a good track record. The other less successful incubator which hatched the SLW was more successful with its last hatch, so what has changed since then is a mystery. The BPR and second strain of BS hatched in the new, automatic incubator - but 6 out of 18 eggs is hardly a rip-roaring success. I do think that the age of the eggs was against some of them, but I had higher hopes for the BS in there.

There are more due later in the week in a third poly box, so we'll have to watch and wait. Very frustrating overall!

Other news is that the YFG will be going off on the bus to her new secondary school for a transition day on Thursday - she is excited and nervous at the same time. So am I, on her behalf, but her big sister is doing well there and so I am reassured that I can trust the school to do a good job. It is not an "outstanding" school in OFSTED terms, but it is a good, solid school which is not afraid to admit that it has some problems and explains how it is dealing with them, rather than refusing to admit that they are there. The EFG has done exceptionally well there, and will be starting her GCSE work in September so we have good expectations for both of them.

The garden is producing well - we are eating the lettuces, the first courgette has been picked, lots of strawberries have been enjoyed and the beans are racing up the poles!

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