Who’s the Daddy?

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New chicks hatched. These are meant to be Naked Neck chicks from our little breeding group of Naked Neck chickens, but they don’t look much like it to me.

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OK, this one does though

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Our chickens free-range. We did put the Naked Necks in a different field, but the hens kept returning and fraternising with the main chicken flock. James assured me that our Pekin bantam cockerel Yong Zheng was too small to get friendly with the ladies. I have no idea why I believed him. I think it is obvious that he was very successful with his wooing of the Naked Neck hens.

Let’s take a look at the first batch of so-called Naked Neck chickens that I hatched out

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That little one on the front left doesn’t look like a Naked Neck does it?

Although this one does a bit

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Crossing the lovely (large) meat birds with a tiny bantam cockerel wasn’t part of the plan. Hhe Naked Necks are now able to free-range in a field, but can’t get out to visit Yong Zheng and we are hoping that he is too distracted with his other girls to come calling. I have put some of the recently collected eggs under broody Ixworths (as no.2 the Ixworth cockerel is definitely not doing his job and is thus destined for the pot on Sunday morning) so we will see in a couple of weeks if this has made a difference.

Baby bird the little chick I rescued from the fox attack is doing well and living with the ducklings – it looks like a Naked Neck but really it thinks it is a duck and peeped indignantly when I tried to rehome it with the new chicks only calming down when placed back with its large, yellow brothers and sisters

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One of the hatching chicks didn’t make it. It was alive and moving when I candled it, but it never pipped. I wanted to wait before intervening, but when I checked again a few hours later it had died. I opened up the egg to look inside: a perfect, but dead little chick

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It is amazing how they grow inside the egg.

N.B. I am currently rethinking my chicken breeding plans – if all goes well we should have 4 little flocks of pure-breed chickens by the end of the year and thus will not have to buy in any more hybrid hens, but will be able to raise our own chicks from existing stock, every now and again buying in fertile eggs to ensure genetic diversity.

2 responses to “Who’s the Daddy?

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