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Hatching std fowl chicks for a larger bird according to the fazes of the Full Moon
by the Cuckoo Stud
Due to the changing weather and the heat arriving earlier, and being more intense each year, most now agree the breeding season for standard size Orpingtons in Australia is recommended as the 2nd week in July to no later than the middle of September.
They are large birds and need to be given enough time to grow out well/properly before they start laying and/or go through
their 1st moult. They also need to be well grown out for the exhibition season the following year.
Standard size Orpingtons hatched at other times of the year tend not to grow out to their full potential and end up looking like
'poor cousins' to those hatched at the correct time of the year.
Now, some will say, (and probably said with rolling eyes) – “Oh great!! she’s at it again!”
but please listen first before condemning me to the ranks of the ‘loony’ (no pun intended)
I was raised to respect the land and its flora and fauna. Growing up I was taught many of what are now considered
‘old wives tales’. With age I had tended to ‘dismiss’ a great number of these teachings from my childhood.
However, most have stuck in my head - - - - - - - - - - - -
At the end of 2005, I started testing ‘yet another theory’ = that perhaps it is not just the time of the year but the time of the hatch in relation to the fazes of the Moon that is also important to the size of the chick.
So I started planning hatches for different times of the Moon’s fazes.
I kept careful records and grew the chicks out in separate pens – one pen for Full Moon and one for New Moon
Being a controlled 'experiment', I fed all chicks the same using Turkey and Meat Bird Starter until 9 weeks of age then Turkey and Meat Bird Grower crumbles until either the first egg or the first crow was seen/heard. From day one all chicks had Garlic (soaked for 24hrs then the garlic strained out) and Vitamins in the water. Also, well cooked mashed egg cooled then seaweed powder added to it, twice a week once they were eating well (usually by day 4)
This feed regime was used to maintain consistency across both hatch pens. Our regular feed regime is outlined elsewhere.
At the first egg/crow I started to introduce other food stuffs = the 3Gs = greens grass grubs
I used the same pens/lines for the test – using 4 pens/lines
I weighed the birds weekly using small weight scales until 9 weeks then changing to larger scales for the remainder of the time. I also measured the leg growth using a Vernier for diameter and length of leg and a dress-makers tape measure for length of breast bone and ‘roundness’ of rib cage
The results were rather suprising =
Almost every chick hatched coming to the New Moon (no moon visible) grew out to be smaller, some decidedly smaller, than the chicks hatched coming up to the Full Moon (moon fully round and visible) with only 2 out of 400 chicks hatched ‘New Moon’ growing larger than their hatch mates
All chicks hatched coming up to the Full Moon (between the last quarter and the Full) were decidedly larger with no variations seen. Note that 400 chicks were hatched ‘Full Moon’ as the comparison
Of course there was always the issue of typey, not so typey, and the occasional dinner only type grown out, but everyone knows my birds/lines are dual purpose and we DO eat the bulk of what we hatch regardless of quality. Ironically we rarely eat eggs! So for 3/4 of the year we have a multitude of excess eggs.
I explained my ‘theory’ to another breeder who initially laughed. But who upon thinking about it also tried the theory out with good results. Early in 2009 I explained it to yet another breeder (a professional Gardener) who instantly saw the sense of it = have I created a ‘hatch coming up to the Full Moon’ revolution?
Apparently a number of exhibitors commented amongst themselves regards the size improvement in The Stud's Cuckoos at the 2010 National Show = all but 3 of my std fowl there were hatched ‘Full Moon’ - the 3 that were ‘New Moon’ were quite obviously smaller – excluding the one which was destined to be smaller anyway as he is 99% pure to those original birds my father ‘had’.
By looking into the ‘old ways’ and the phases of the Moon regards its impact on the waters of the world. Also noting how if plants that grow above ground are planted coming up to the Full Moon and plants that grow below ground are planted coming to the New Moon will grow better and larger than when this is not considered. I thought, then I applied this to my poultry and have proven that in my back yard, chicks hatched coming up to ‘Full Moon’ grow better and larger.
That is my theory. If this makes me ‘loony’ so be it! as the birds in the pens/lines used for testing have hatched stronger and grown out consistently larger since I started exploring/trialing my theory.
# I am in the process of testing if Bantam size fowl will grow out smaller by hatching coming to the New Moon
Also, I am observing to discover if there is a pattern to when hens go broody, and if they are more prone to do so leading up to the
If so, this would give rise to and open up other possibilities
# UPDATE - in regards hens and going broody = as of 28 September 2011 - I can say that by observing hens and older pullets = 65% have gone broody within three to four days either side of the Full Moon regards the last Full Moon. The remaining 35% are still laying - observations ongoing.
Further UPDATE - 20 October 2011 - there appears to be grounds to believe that hens and especially older pullets do go broody around the Full Moon as more have gone broody 2 to 3 days either side of this months Full Moon. observations ongoing.
Further UPDATE - 18 March 2012 - I have seen a consistent beginning of broodiness around the Full Moon.
Even the turkey hens went broody right on the last Full Moon. I will be observing the Geese in their next breeding season.
updates to follow
Further UPDATE - 4 April 2012 - Full Moon is 7th - the greater portion of the large size hens and older pullets have gone broody, few are still wandering around the pens.
Also, some of the bantam size hens and pullets went broody just before this Full Moon, even though I have observed that the bantams tend to go broody at any time, seemingly not greatly effected by the Moons fazes.
Ongoing incubator hatchings for bantam size are showing a small amount of variation - to date there is only a slight difference
in bantams hatched New as opposed to Full Moon.
# subject to copyright laws of Australia