Whilst I was away some of my Silver Dorking chicks hatched
In the end I only ended up with six eggs as the seller who I bought the second half a dozen from chickens stopped laying. When I candled the eggs at twelve days then five out of the six seemed to have chicks in so I was a little disappointed to only have two chicks hatch, especially as I never normally bother to candle eggs, but they are still very sweet.
Mrs Dorking has gone broody, she’s been sitting tight for about four days now, so this evening she has been moved to her own little hutch where she can be left in peace away from the other hens who want to lay eggs (or not as is more the truth.)
It is the first time that she has gone broody so I have no idea if she will stay sitting now that she has been moved but I’m hoping to hatch some unrated Silver Dorkings under her to add to the ‘flock’.
I am bidding on some eggs on ebay, I have just missed out on the first set with five seconds to go, I was sat at the computer counting down, by twenty pence!
There is another Silver Dorking egg hatched in the incubator, we’ve moved the last chicks that were left in our room outside a few weeks ago.
It had become so normal to have one kind of bird or chick, quail, gosling, etc. making a noise in the room that I almost didn’t even realise when I heard the first cheeping that is was coming from the incubator at all.
A new chick hatching has bought up the question again about whether our bigger chicks are girls or boys…
Silver Dorking chicks are ‘sex-linked’ which means that they have different markings for girls and boys when they are born. I think from the markings that they had when they were born were boys, but now that their feathers are through I’m not so sure as they look more like the hens feathers then the cockerals.
Any way, whatever the two older chicks are, the one in the incubator is the other sort!
The oldest of the Silver Dorking chicks is looking very cockerel like, but as they are sex-linked chicks I’m not really surprised. Still it would have been nice to be wrong, if that one is a cockerel then so is the other so no hen chick for the minute. There are a few more eggs in the incubator but I’m starting to get inpatient, I only have a breeding pair so that is only one egg at a time and I don’t want to set to many eggs and have a big gap of ages in the brooder so tonight I have been looking at buying some eggs for hatching.
There are some very good plus sides to buying in eggs, any chicks would be unrelated to my cockerel and hen, my hen must be getting older now so it would be nice to have some other hens ‘coming up through the ranks’ for when she retires from laying. There are a lot of breeders out there selling all kind of eggs and day olds, but not too many selling Silver Dorking eggs or chicks, I have emailed some breeders and a few breeders of other verities too…
I think it is almost time to give up on the Silver Dorking eggs that I have in my new incubator, something should of happened by now.
I’m disappointed, I was really looking forward to having chicks and the start of building up my flock
Ever since I took over the pen of chickens that I’ve been looking after I’ve wanted to try breeding pure Silver Dorkings or Marsh Daisys, I’ve spent hours on eBay looking at hatching eggs and going through poultry forums for sale lists. I’ve even almost arranged buying eggs but whenever I’ve been able to hatch them then other peoples birds have been off lay and/or broody.
Any way, today mother and me went and collected my new Silver Dorking cockerel. I found him through the River Cottage Forum, and Rhys named him Richard (after Richard Dorking.)