We gave Susie six fertile eggs to sit on. I shut her up in the upper chamber of the old wooden coop, and ensured that she had access to clean water and food close by.
The farm the eggs came from had hens of the following breeds:
– Barred Rock
– Silver-Laced Wyandotte
– Light Sussex
– Road Isle Red
– Houdini
– a few other odd ones

Their roosters were:
– Barred Rock
– Silver-Laced Wyandotte
– Houdini

So we could get a pure breed of something. But most likely they would be mixed.

To cut the long 21+2-days story short, of the six eggs:
– two eggs disappeared, probably eaten by Susie,
– two eggs were duds,
– one hatched in the early hours of 13 November into a predominantly-black chick, and
– one hatched in the afternoon of 13 November into a yellow chick.

In the evening of 13 November, I was not sure if the other two eggs would hatch or not. I decided that I would move Susie and the chicks down from the upper level in the morning.

But sadly, Susie had squashed the yellow chick. I do not know why that happened. It may even have been my fault and may have happened the previous evening when I moved Susie to check under her, who knows. So I moved Susie and her black chick down.

I watched Susie for a day to make sure that she was good to her chick. She seemed reasonably kind.

Four days later, on 18 November, I bought two Silkie chicks—a blue one and a white one—from a young structural engineer called Dean who breeds them for a hobby.

I put them in the coop with Susie, and they seem to have become a happy family together.

Today, a week later, my great nieces came to see the chicks.

I also took some pictures of their feathers with a view to sexing them.

Before that, here is some information from a post in the ‘Backyard Chicken Coops’ blog, that could help us make an informed guess. We want the chicks to be female. According to Auckland Council rules, I can only have six hens and no roosters.

So what do you think? I think my black chick is a rooster. I am hopeful that my silkies are hens. But then with silkies, maybe looking at the one feature that has mutated—their feathers—may not be helpful. Let’s wait and see. If any or two or all of my chicks are going to turn out to be roosters, I had better enjoy them all I can in the next 15 weeks or so.