## Guesswork and estimations

As an intellectual exercise, we thought we’d try and extrapolate backwards from the first week or so’s weights, and try to come up with a possible (maybe even probable!) hatch-weight for each of the chicks.

We know what the eggs weighed before they were put under Poppy, and there’s a rule-of-thumb for the weight lost by the egg during incubation. (Although that’s pretty much irrelevant, given that all the eggs should have lost weight at the same rate … never mind, good to know that the information exists somewhere.) So in theory, this should allow us to guesstimate which egg hatched which chick! (Yes, I’m afraid we are that nerdy.)

This is the graph that we used to extrapolate from. The actual extrapolation was done by Stewart with a ruler and pencil (not shown, which I’m sure surprises you). The estimates we came up with were: Purple 29g, Blue 25g, Orange 28g, Pink 28g, Green 27g, Red 26g and Yellow 25g. A bit of a bugger that we have two pairs of chicks sharing the same weight.

Never mind, we shall persevere!

The eggs that Poppy’s Magnificent Seven hatched from were numbers 5, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. Which weighed 68g, 60g, 61g, 59g, 61g, 57g and 53g respectively.

Hmm. A bit more clear-cut would have been nice. Again, never mind. Onwards! Continue!

What can we estimate?

• Marcus (purple) almost certainly hatched from egg #5.
• Rachel (yellow) probably hatched from egg #14, although it could have been egg #13.
• Bruce (blue) likely hatched from egg #13 (possibly #14). Hard to tell with him, as his growth rates have always been erratic. Doing very well now though.
• Claude and Princess (orange and pink) could well have hatched from eggs #10 and #12, although it’s virtually impossible to tell.
• Neroli (green) is likely to have hatched from egg #7.
• Sylvie (red) quite possibly hatched from the remaining egg, #11.

When we went through the eggs before putting them under Poppy, we tried to sort them into their three groups. All were sired by Liselle’s own rooster, but laid by different hens. One lot was from Liselle’s top hen (Tamarillo). One lot were from some pullets she’d brought in from Gore, and so the resulting chicks would/could have been full sisters to Lily and Frida. The third possibility was from a pullet she’d kept from the previous year (Gore pullet/s x her roo). So they would be nieces and nephews (as well as half sisters … don’t try to think it through too much. It makes sense in chicken) to Lily and Frida.

Liselle had described the typical eggs from each of the three possible sources, so before we put the eggs under Poppy we noted down which egg seemed likely to belong to which line.

Making a couple of (really huge) assumptions, that would suggest that

• Marcus is probably a Tamarillo line,
• ditto Sylvie
• and one of Claude and Princess.
• Rachel is probably a neice (so Gore/Liselle crossed back to Liselle),
• and everyone else – Neroli, Bruce, and either Claude or Princess – is likely to be the same bloodlines as Lily and Frida.

Useful? Probably not. But mildly interesting. And it’s kept us occupied for the last hour or so, and that’s the main thing.