I'd arranged to have some eggs sired by Sasha - the original Sasha, that is, not the current girl who was hastily renamed Sasha when Sasha turned out to be a boy. The joys of promising to name a chicken after someone!
You may remember that Sasha, the original Sasha (let's not start that again) was very lucky: I managed to find someone who was willing to take in a Lavender Araucana cockerel. He started a new life with lots of ladies. Elaine, his new mum, had kindly offered to let me have some fertile eggs sired by him.
I'd arranged the hatching schedule to coincide with late May bank holiday, which meant that theyd be grown and moved to the allortment before DH's next bout of parent sitting. Working backwards, this meant we needed to put the eggs in around Sunday 9th May. I'd contacted Elaine, checked that Sash was going to be put in with some Leghorns, so we'd have blue egg layers (Sasha's blue egg gene is dominant over the Leghorns' white egg gene).
We put all the allotment chooks on to Breeders pellets at the beginning of March. This meant that they would have been on Breeders for 8 weeks by the time we separated Henry with his chosen wives, They only needed to be together for a few days, we could collect the eggs, add them to the 6 I was getting from Elaine, and we'd be off.
And if Poppy was broody at the right time, we'd see whether she'd raise some of the chicks.
Then life intervened.
The warm weather turned a whole load of the allotment girls broody in one go, including the ones we would normally choose to breed from. There wasn't any point separating the flock - there were only a few girls that Henry was running with, so we'd just have to make do.
It didn't matter unduly, they are all for the table so we didn't have to worry too much.
Then Elaine was robbed. All her Leghorn flock was stolen. Sasha wasn't with them at the time, otherwise he might well have gone too.
We debated whether to wait - but decided to go ahead anyway. Poppy had gone broody, so the timing was right.
Elaine very kindly gave me some other Sasha-sired eggs. The hens are from a Red Sussex cockerel crossed with an Araucana female.
It will be really interesting to see how they turn out, The boys will be for the table, any girls will be kept.
Watch this space