Same here, @elkinsacres,
Welcome! I'm excited to see your pics and I'm curious to see if you get the same patterns as @hofhine68's chicks. I wonder if there's a difference between Greenfire and Sunbird...
Yes we're excited as you are! I share the same sentiments as you do with hatching eggs. In the long run, you just about break even but you don't have to endure the stress of artificially incubating the eggs.
I have also found a low fertility rate with a lot of these places (to which I'll leave unnamed) and then you get some good batches here and there. All-in-all I feel it really is luck of the draw and unless if fertility is the issue, there isn't much at fault to the breeder.
As far as your pasty butt issue...that's interesting. I haven't experienced that yet. Usually that is a symptom of the chicks feeling a draft and got too cold, are overheated, have a bacterial / viral infection. Besides using lukewarm water to remove the paste from their butt, believe it or not if you scramble eggs and get them to room temperature and feed it to your chicks, the additional nutrition acts like a "shot in the arm" and can clear it almost immediately.
They say the culprit can be the heat lamps. Rather use light, there are devices out there that radiates heat. I may experiment with some products to see if there are more benefits (and we're not using as much electricity!) Has anyone tried products like this?
I completely understand your wanting to purchase live chicks and not take another risk on shipped eggs.
I know it is all in my mind (my own perception) but I have less distress with an egg that won't hatch than I do with a chick that dies.
For me, it is much less stressful to stuff eggs under a broody hen and wait to see what happens - although the Bielefelder fertility was a disappointment. I'm still wondering if the Bielefelder roos may be particular about the ladies who get their attention, but I haven't posted in the Biele thread yet.
My FBCM-broody raised Niederrheiner chicks are doing great thus far - no pasty butt issues and growing/eating LOTS. I'll try to take some updated pics this weekend.
I thought you guys would find these vids interesting. This is all I could find for now. Apparently in Germany, Niederrheiners also come in bantam form! I'd still prefer the standard size but that's good to know.
Birchen Niederrheiner Bantams
Lemon Cuckoo Niederrheiner Bantams
Blue Cuckoo Niederrheiner Bantams
"Brown Red" Niederrheiner Bantams
I'm personally a little confused with the Crele Niederrheiners. How are they different from Bielefelders? They look the same to me. Also, not sure if we would call them "Brown Red" Niederrheiners in English but that was the given translation. There could be more colors out there but this is what we found so far.