• mhemmer replied to the topic Hatch Timing in the forum General 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Well my 3rd hatch encountered some of the same bad weather as my 1st hatch, so the numbers are down again. I did get a little contribution from my older birds in hatch three, plus I did a limited 4th hatch, specific to the older pens.

    On the other hand, my grow-out performance was the best ever. The cool weather persisted, making for ideal…[Read more]

  • I started with Welsummers because I was intrigued by the dark egg color. As is typical, my foundation stock left a bit to be desired. They produced good egg color, although not in the numbers I expected from my historical research. Plus, the meat side of the “dual purpose” moniker was not at all satisfactory.
    After 5 generations of intensive…[Read more]

  • When I started raising Faverolles, I essentially took on the challenge: Can a bird that is today bred almost exclusively as a show bird, be bred back to it’s historic production characteristics?
    In the case of the Faverolles, that means a “gourmet meat bird, with good winter laying attributes”.
    Surprisingly enough, the answer was “yes”, and…[Read more]

  • Lisa,
    I am raising Erminettes, which have a lot of traits similar to Barred Rocks. My line of Erminettes are right in that 225 egg/year range productivity. With the Erminette genetics, I get 25% solid black birds from an Erminette mating. I’m not 100% certain, but I would think a cross with a solid black Erminette male would yield some well…[Read more]

  • I haven’t had a chance to get any turf established in my grow out areas. So, I reseed everything every Fall with wheat or oats or some combination. I do add some tillage radishes and turnips to help loosen the soil. The chickens feast on the wheat grass. They really like the radish and turnip greens, as well.

  • mhemmer replied to the topic Hatch Timing in the forum General 9 months, 4 weeks ago

    Apparently I have managed to choose the worst year to attempt my early hatching experiment. The weather in Kansas has been terrible! After a couple of years of mild winter weather, this year has been one storm system after another. It has really affected the lay rate on my birds. I am still having decent fertility and hatch rates, just not as…[Read more]

  • Sorry, Kansas doesn’t require anything like that.

  • mhemmer replied to the topic Hatch Timing in the forum General 11 months ago

    Welcome and thanks for chiming in.
    I just set my second batch of eggs from my Faverolles and Welsummers pens. We had a spell of better weather during this collection period, so I got significantly more and larger eggs to set. I am still not seeing much from my pens of older birds.

  • mhemmer replied to the topic Hatch Timing in the forum General 11 months, 1 week ago

    In collecting for the early hatches, I noticed the impact of weather on the lay rates. The Faverolles were particularly sensitive to weather changes; going from 8 eggs/day lay rate to 3 down to 3 during a tough cold snap/storm. They then bounce back after a week of nicer weather. Another disadvantage I am seeing from early hatching/collecting…[Read more]

  • mhemmer started the topic Hatch Timing in the forum General 11 months, 1 week ago

    I have noticed that my earlier hatched birds have better 16 week growth rates than those hatched later in the Spring. This year I set my first hatch (Welsummers and Faverolles) on Dec 17, for a Jan 7th hatch. I set another group (Erminettes) on the 24th for a Jan 14th hatch. In general, I am compressing my hatches into January and February to…[Read more]