Emergency winter hatch thread (Partridge Orpington x Easter Egger)

K0k0shka

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I found myself needing to do a very impractical emergency winter hatch, after the family’s favorite chicken died suddenly and for no apparent reason. We want him to live on, so we decided to hatch some eggs from one of his girlfriends. We were planning on doing that in the spring anyway, but his sudden death has changed our plans. I'm dreading this a little bit, being that we're at the start of winter in the Northeast, but the kids really loved that cockerel, and even my husband (otherwise indifferent to the chickens) said we should do it, so we're doing it.

I set the eggs this morning - 11 beautiful green eggs, in a Little Giant still air incubator, the same one I used last time. I added a handheld fan to it again, two calibrated probe thermometers, and one calibrated hygrometer. Aquarium tubing to add water through with a syringe without opening the lid. I learned a lot of lessons from my previous hatch with this finicky incubator, so I’m feeling more confident this time. Day 1 was smooth sailing, unlike day 1 last time when I wanted to throw the whole thing out the window :lol: If you want to check out my previous hatch thread, you can find it here.

A bit of context. The departed cockerel came from said hatch, and was instantly everybody's favorite. Full of character and hilarity, very social, smart and friendly. The perfect pet chicken, sweet until the end with not a drop of aggression for the whole 7 months of his life (which is why we want more of him). He was a Red Partridge Orpington that came from Papa’s Poultry in CA (the eggs flew coast to coast to MA). Sadly, we couldn’t keep him because we can’t have roosters where we live. We rehomed him about a month or so ago, after he started crowing, with a friend of mine who lives on a small farm. The kids missed him, but we went to visit him occasionally. My friend was temporarily keeping him in a tractor coop with two females - one that she says is an Ameraucana (I'm no breed expert at all but after looking it up, it looks to me like she's actually an Easter Egger) and her grown chick (who is about the same age as our boy). They’d free range with the main flock to get used to each other, but then go back to the tractor. Our boy was in love with the chick, but she’s not laying yet. He was trying with the mom, too, but she wasn’t always letting him. The only eggs we have now to work with are hers, and it’s not clear if they got fertilized or not... He certainly tried, but I guess we’ll see.

Last time I brooded the chicks in what I called a "chicken TV brooder" in our upstairs hallway for 3 weeks, and everybody loved the experience. We had no problems with dust or smell. The kids loved having the chicks right next to their bedroom, and even my husband said he enjoyed the peaceful sound of birds chirping in the hallway. So we’ll do that again, but with a bigger box so they can stay in it longer. With winter already here, these chicks will need to spend several months in the house. When they outgrow the box, I can section off part of the basement for them. And then deal with integration gradually, after the weather starts warming up...This isn’t an ideal situation and I’d much rather hatch in the spring, but we want chicks from this cockerel for sentimental reasons, and the family is committed to making it work. I’ll probably have questions as the saga unfolds, and would appreciate your feedback!

Here's a picture of our beloved:

1606103265968.png


And the mom of the eggs:

1606103310940.png
1606103366177.png


I'm so curious to see what the babies end up looking like! (if we get any babies 🤞). What do you guys think about mom's breed? I'm thinking she's an EE? Lays green eggs - here are the ones I set:
1606103415412.png


She seems to have a dilute gene because her tail is blue. I'm not sure how chicken dilute genes work. I know on cats they affect the entire body, but on this hen the beard is unaffected and still quite black. Do they affect only parts of the body? What would that mean for the chicks?

As for the beard, I thought I could figure out how many copies of the beard gene mom had, by looking at her daughter, who doesn't have a beard. So I was thinking mom was heterozygous (one copy) and the babies would have a 50% chance. But then my friend said she's not 100% sure the daughter came from this hen's egg, as another hen might have snuck into the broody's nest and laid one of her own eggs there. Looking at the daughter though, I'm thinking she might have a dilute gene too, just by the looks of her - whoever her mom is, we know that her dad is a Whiting Grizzly (the kind used for fly fishing). So she has a bit of the grizzly pattern, but the blacks are blue-gray-ish. Here's a picture of her with her mom:
1606103941048.png


I'm not sure if my friend has any other chickens with a dilute gene, I can ask (or go visit and look at the chickens again... She has a lot so I haven't paid attention to any specific ones). But maybe that means that this is indeed the EE's daughter, and the EE has one copy so we might get a mix of beards and no beards.

Does anybody have any experience crossing the partridge pattern with this kind of EE pattern? Any guesses on what the chicks might look like (beards and dilutions aside)?

This is going to be fun :D
 

LadiesAndJane

Life is good...
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So sorry you lost your boy, even he was in a new home, still had your heart. 😊
He was beautiful. The hen is an EE, may be a blue partridge in coloring, I have only seen that with silkies, but I am sure other breeds can be as well. Will likely get partridge chicks of different shades is what my guess is. The eggs are a beautiful color. Good luck with your hatch and please post photos of any babies that ensue. 🥰
 

ackie

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HER TAIL IS BEAUTIFUL omg
I hope the babies get it.
I'd love to get into chicken genetics.
I know basic genetics from college (okay maybe that's more than basic?)
I learned basic ball python genetics once.
 

gimmie birdies

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I had an emergency hatch one Nov. I had a great bantam EE rooster who was killed by 2 jealous roosters, the hens were all in love with the rooster they killed. I grabbed a silky egg I knew he would be the father of from the fridge, and 2 extra eggs to boot. The baby silky/EE bantam looked like a silky, but smooth feathers and a head dress floof. The chick was always acting like a rooster, because she was raised with the other 2 eggs that were roosters. She would fight my leg. One day I thought she was so aggressive I would have to put her down, then she laid a green egg. I was so happy I hugged her, and kept hugging her, and she stopped attacking me. She was nice after that.
 

K0k0shka

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So sorry you lost your boy, even he was in a new home, still had your heart. 😊
He was beautiful. The hen is an EE, may be a blue partridge in coloring, I have only seen that with silkies, but I am sure other breeds can be as well. Will likely get partridge chicks of different shades is what my guess is. The eggs are a beautiful color. Good luck with your hatch and please post photos of any babies that ensue. 🥰
Thank you! I will definitely post pictures of the babies when they hatch, and as they grow. I'd be SO excited to finally get some partridges! I fell in love with that pattern and got 6 Red Partridge Orpington eggs from Papa's Poultry back in April, but only 1 out of the 6 made it to hatch - our dear departed cockerel - and, being male, he didn't have the pretty laced pattern, so I was very disappointed to end up with none. But if the babies show it, and I get at least one partridge female, I'll be extra happy!
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
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Jul 24, 2019
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Boston Area, MA
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I had an emergency hatch one Nov. I had a great bantam EE rooster who was killed by 2 jealous roosters, the hens were all in love with the rooster they killed. I grabbed a silky egg I knew he would be the father of from the fridge, and 2 extra eggs to boot. The baby silky/EE bantam looked like a silky, but smooth feathers and a head dress floof. The chick was always acting like a rooster, because she was raised with the other 2 eggs that were roosters. She would fight my leg. One day I thought she was so aggressive I would have to put her down, then she laid a green egg. I was so happy I hugged her, and kept hugging her, and she stopped attacking me. She was nice after that.
Aww I'm glad she got over it! Maybe she had egg PMS :lol: One of my pullets attacks my leg if I cuddle another chicken. She hasn't laid yet and is very close, so I'm hoping once she gets that first egg out, she also gets her frustration out and chills the F out :lol:
 
May 22, 2020
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They are gorgeous!! I have my fingers and toes crossed for you!! Mama is an EE for sure. If she was a purebred Ameraucana or Araucana her eggs would be blue. :)
Question, are the eggs more green or more olive colored?? Just curiosity and I know sometimes pictures don't always look true to colors. Love the blue in her tail!! BEST OF LUCK!! 😍🤞
 

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