I've started this thread to document my experiment with this year's hatching. Gender: There's an "old wive's tale" regarding egg shape related to chick gender: Does egg shape give an indication regarding the gender of chick that will hatch from it? I read a study that stated there MAY be a correlation, with smaller and more rounded, less pointy eggs being more likely to bear a female chick, while pointed and larger eggs are more likely to bear a male chick. The study results were a bit vague. So, since I have way too much time to think, and an abundance of eggs, I decided to do my own test. I'll gather a week's worth of eggs, and sort them according to shape and size. I'll document the 2 groups with photos. The smaller, rounder eggs will go in the incubator, the larger and pointy eggs will go in the skillet. My past hatches have yielded > 60% roos. Nutrition: Today, I started "conditioning" the flock to possibly improve the nutrition in the hatching eggs. My flock has been on FF layer with some added spent grains. I've recently switched to multi-flock which is 22% protein. They also get sprouted wheat, barley, and BOSS, and free choice oyster shell. The ground is still covered with 3' of snow, so no foraging opportunities, though there are some patches of mud showing up in the snow blowed paths. So, starting today, I'm giving them just a bit of crushed multi-vitamin mixed into their FF. I do realize that multi-vitamins are formulated for human consumption, but chose this route, just because. There are plenty of formulations out there designed specifically for poultry, but I chose this route, because the average home is likely to have multi vitamins, and some flock owners may be on a tight budget. Inducing broodiness: No signs of broodiness to date. So, I brought up my box of golf balls, and have bought some plastic Easter eggs. This week I'll put half a dozen golf balls in one nest box, and half a dozen weighted Easter eggs in an other. Too many variables at once? You bet! So, in no way is this intended to be a scientific study. It's just my way of having fun, and tweaking things with the flock a bit, to see what will happen. Flock members: 3rd season birds: 2 EE, 1 RIR (Alpha hen), and 1 home bred BSL. Coming into second season birds: Jack the EE roo, 3 home bred: green egg, pea combed BSLs, 3 Dominiques, 3 RCBL, 1 SLW, 1 Pioneer.