Well, it is January 2nd 2016, and I am contemplating the work needed to start the breeding year.
Happily, I have two genetic lines for the Malines this year and the roos are looking pretty wonderful. The first line had a tail that is a bit high but his colour and breast are amazing. The second line are a bit darker and their breast isn’t as developed (likely because they are still quite young) but their back line is near on perfect.
Malines are supposed to be horizontal across the back, no lift to the tail (or at least only a small lift). These big boys are meat birds and apparently the long back means better meat ratio, or something like that.
Regardless, they are filling out nicely and short of fixing a fence to keep the breeding group separate from the rest of the flock, we are nearly ready to fire up the incubators.
Last year I hatched well into July but I am going to try to avoid that this year. It was just too long and tiring and backed up into some really busy time in the garlic patch.
Gerry keeps saying “don’t count your chickens” but I just can’t help feel optimistic when I am firing up the incubator.