It's almost Spring. I'm really getting the itch. I've got a litter of rabbits, and more on the way. And it seems everyone is hatching chicks. And everyone wants chicks. And I want to hatch. Now. Ugh. So we've had 2 big snowstorms in one week, and the snow is starting to disappear. I moved the chicks from out back in the little coop to the big coop with the rest of the flock, so I wouldn't have to deal with 2 separate coops in the winter. But, a few of the birds were sneezing, so I put them out in the little coop to treat them so I wouldn't have to treat the whole flock. As time goes on, the itch gets stronger. Tonight I put the cockerels back in with the rest of the flock and grabbed my two remaining Barred Rocks and put them in the little coop. They'll be in there for a few weeks. Firstly, to see if they're laying. Secondly, to make sure they're not fertilized by the Black Copper Marans rooster. After I know they're both laying, and that eggs are unfertile, I will take my Barred Rock rooster out to add to the small coop. I'm hoping this won't take more than 3 weeks. Maybe by then one of the hens will go broody? That would be nice. If not, there's always the incubator.
On another note, I've ordered a heat plate for brooding. So excited! Way safer than a heat lamp, and uses much less power. Here's the one I ordered.
March 27: Yesterday we set almost 2 dozen eggs in the incubator. About 6 Barred Rock, probably 4 Barred Rock/Chantecler mix, and the rest Black Copper Marans. My hope is that my Buff Orpington rooster hadn't gotten the skills to breed my Marans. Fingers crossed.