Howdy all. It's been a long while since I've posted on the broody threads (duplicate posting from broody thread as I have friends on both threads).
My Isbar project was a total bust. The broody hen sat well, but the eggs weren't pipping...If you remember I was about to toss when I heard chirping on day 23 and waited until day 25 and 26 (true dates) and chicks slowly hatched, but were very weak and spindly. I ended up taking them away from the hen and brooding that batch in the house as they were too weak to stay with momma.
In for a penny, in for a pound, so I ended up purchasing some chicks of breeds I wanted from the feedstore...got several Barnevelders, some Gold Stars, and purchased a beautiful scale 7 Splash Marans pullet. Unfortunately the Isbars were never to do well. Ended up loosing one Isbar right off weak from hatch, the second had to cull for slipped hocks at 6 weeks after really working hard to help her grow right, then lost the last to Coccidiosis outbreak, along with a Gold Star, from wacky weather and an unusually unkempt coop due to a family emergency (MIL in for heart procedures and then assisted living which kept me from normal chores for about a month).
So that left me with 1 Gold Star, 2 Barnevelders, and my Splash Marans. I'd hoped for a pair of Barnevelders...ended up with 2 roosters. Humph. Ah well, kept the best of the Barnevelder roos to begin an Olive Egger program...since no blue eggers (lost all those Isbars)...purchased 2 Cream Legbar pullets this fall.
So now the good news....Bernard the Barnevelder is a handsome young rooster who is strutting his stuff and is proving to be fertile...at least to the less dominant hens whom he can catch.
I've got 3 of his fertilized eggs now under my first winter broody....my Queen Mum....and they are developing. Two white eggs and one brown. They are utility California Grey/Barnevelder...which should be sex-linked utility layers (The Cal Greys are wonderful layers...just wish to increase their egg size which the Barnie should do). I think the brown egg is from one of my Rhodebars, which I know he catches the lesser dominant of those (he hasn't convinced my matrons he is of manly enough stuff yet), but it might be from my Wyandotte/Welsummer cross. Either way, I'll have a red laced utility layer from that egg.
So day 4, and the 2 Cal Grey eggs are clearly developing nicely, and I think the brown egg shows development...just harder to see. Good for Bernard.
This is my first experiment with this roo to check for his fertility. As he matures more (he's only 6 months of age), he'll convince the other matrons and I'll start setting some Marans/Barnevelder crosses...also my Cream Legbars should be mature enough to start laying in spring, so I can then begin on that end of the Olive Egger.
I hope to develop:
Red Laced utility layers from Barnevelder/Rhodebar or Gold Star crosses f1
Blue Laced dark egg layers from Barnevelder/Splash Marans (hopefully on the 5 scale)
Black utility sex links from Barnevelder/Cal Greys, likely a light tint egg?
Black/Gold Partridge Olive Eggers from Barnevelder/CCL
...with banding and careful following of chicks....black f2 Olive Egger, darker olive, from my f1 Marans/Isbar (sole hatch from last January) and Barnevelder roo....though I'm not confident in any Isbar blood at this time.
Keeping my fingers crossed on this test batch. My last two hatches were dismal, but they involved Isbar crosses and pure Isbars, and I suspect it was genetic issues in the Isbar line having read that can be an issue. This batch will tell me if something more is amiss with my brooding situation...hopefully not.
Updates to follow
Lady of McCamley