On the 16th of May I change the cock in the Indian Game pen. I have hatched enough from the Indian Game Cock x Indian Game hens to have breeding stock for next year and at the moment have 26 chicks all doing well with no loses. Come October I shall go through and pick out the best and move the rest on.
The male I have replaced the Indian Game cock with is a superb Welsh Black 2 year old, he was the best bird out of a very good bunch and I have high hopes of this pen producing some good chicks.
It will take about a week before any sperm from the Indian Game cock is dissapated by the Welsh Black, so after 10 days I should be sure the eggs will be fertilized by him. There is a chance that the 4 hens in this run may go off lay due to the attentions of the new cock, but within an hour of his introduction he was wing fanning and at least 3 of the hens came to his call having found a treat to tempt them with.
He was dusted with loose powder and vent checked for excess feathering before I put him in, so that should keep him clear of feather lice for at least 8 days. The hens got the same treatment and the coop was cleaned and disentfected and clean shaving added.
By the 26th of this month I will set a batch of eggs from this pen as a test to see not only if they are fertile but how well the eggs hatch and how strong the chicks grow away.
The growers that have come out of the Improved Indian Game x Welsh Black pen are really strong and I have 5 under a wyandotte bantam that are now out on grass in a run all doing very well.
June 4th and eggs are being produced fertile by the Welsh Black Cock. This season I have only used broodies and there has been no problem finding a bird to set eggs under.
Using the red buckets as nest boxes makes moving a broody very easy,just wait untill after dusk and remove the box and hen into a coop on her own and give her some eggs to hatch.
I usually put 10 under a large fowl and take her out and powder her with louse powder before she is settled in her coop. Frsh water and a grain feed will keep her happy. I never bother to remove a sitter she will come off and feed when she is ready.
I have taken around 40 chicks from the Welsh Black x Improved Indian Game cock and they are mostly coloured white and black as Indians are when chicks. There are a few blacks in them and the difference in feathering up is interesting and needs to be watched. Fast feathering is a sign of a quick maturing bird.
In the first batch I appear to have 2 blue ones, but to early to tell yet what they are going to be like. I have more coops to make before they leave the chick room. One of the sitters a Welsh Black started to lay again while still brooding and as the chicks were inside and almost feathered she was returned to the breeding pen to join the group.
I hadn’t intended hatching many this year, but there are youngsters everywhere.
So far I have 6 Friesian chicks just feathered 1 cock 5 pullets, another Friesian sitting on 16 eggs and 5 Wyandottes all brooding chicks.
Around 60 dual purpose and various test hatches to check fertility on the pens.
I need to get 20 Australorp pullets and about 10 Exchequer Leghorns out to add to the flocks as replacements of the 3 year old birds in the groups now.
My Indian Game cocks hatched last year are building up very well and in another month I shall choose the best to breed with next season.