Due to an aggressive culling of my breeding hens, I am down to seven hens originating from last year poults This means, I am later than usual with my first hatch. But it is worth the wait. Last year, I thought the poults were slow to seperate from the egg after making the first shell crack. The aggressive culling was my attempt to work towards solving this problem.
I want the use of the poult's yolk sac energy to be for the twenty four hours after leaving the shell, and not for getting out of it. This year, once poults have cracked the shell, they take shorter rests and appear to be more determined to exit the egg. I left this morning to go shopping, after having identified three eggs, and came back three hours later with five poults, out and dry.
Nor am I having to babysit these poults to ensure that they stay near the water, food, and heat. So far, no "roller" poults that flip up on their backs and often die as they are able to right themselves due to lack of energy, food, water, or chilled.
These poults are also showing more bone frame than last year poults, with a wider leg stance. Neat!
I can't wait until I let my Pixie White hens begin raising their own poults to see if my incubating experience carries over to them. The goal is for the Pixie White to be a self sustaining turkey and not a "needy bird."
Just a reminder for those of you raising poults for the first time, poults must be fed a game feed that is a least 24 percent protein. (28 percent is better for the first month-I feed Kent game feed) if you feed chicken feed, the poults will fail to thrive and start developing leg problems.