Cuckoo for Cuckoos – Cuckoo Bluebars, that is! March 24, 2017
At my house, we recently had the privilege of hatching some of My Pet Chicken’s Cuckoo Bluebars, and what an experience it was! We have never ordered fertile eggs before, always hatching eggs from our existing flock, so even the shipping side was a new experience for us. You can also get cuckoo bluebar started pullets (which are older birds), but we love chicks and we love to hatch, so we started with the cuckoo bluebar eggs.
When fertile eggs are shipped, the post office is instructed to hold them for pickup, but somehow, mine slipped through and were out for delivery with the regular carrier. Our fabulous Post Master tracked down the carrier, and hand delivered them right to my door! Love when we find somebody that goes above and beyond the expectation to get the job done!
Bluebars will lay blue eggs… but they hatch out of white or cream colored eggs.
We received 20 eggs and candled immediately, looking for damage or stress cracks. We did find one egg that looked questionable. We don’t have a fancy candler; we just use a toilet paper tube and a strong flashlight, so sometimes it is not very clear. Despite the suspected crack, we put all of them in the incubator, to see what would happen. (An egg with a hairline crack should be watched closely, though. While they can sometimes hatch with no problems, if any bacteria has gotten inside the egg through the crack, then there is a danger of the egg exploding and contaminating all your other eggs–ugh! Luckily, that didn’t happen to us.)
We candled our cuckoo bluebar eggs again on day 11 of incubation, and pulled two eggs out of the incubator and discarded them. One was the suspicious egg from the beginning; it did have a hairline crack, after all. The second egg had just not developed.
Normal hatch time is 21 days, so imagine our surprise when the babies started pipping on day 19! Eventually all 18 remaining eggs hatched their little cuckoo bluebars, with only one of them “on time” at day 21. All 18 chicks were strong and healthy, so we moved them into their prepared brooder. The babies proved to be extremely hardy, fast growing and very inquisitive!
Our first brooder is a kid-sized wading pool, with roof flashing as a barrier. It generally works, for several weeks, but the cuckoo bluebars were super precocious, and flying out the first week! By the end of week three, we moved them out from under the light, and into a big brooder cage. They were even spending sunny days outside on the grass!
When the Cuckoo Bluebars got to be 6 weeks of age, we moved them to an outside brooder, with roosting space up high, and access to the ground. They’re so curious and try to follow us around when we’re outside. They always want to see what we are doing, but also seem to be very predator wary.
Also… gorgeous, right?
I think the Cuckoo Bluebars will be a wonderful addition to my flock.
My Pet Chicken has 100 different breeds and varieties of chicken, many in assortments of rare breeds, and available no where else! What breeds are on your wishlist… cuckoo bluebars? Jubilee Orpingtons? Cream Legbars? something else?