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Please advise on hatching first eggs!!!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hey, y'all,

I've had a couple different flocks of hens so I have the eggs for food thing down. This time around we ended up with a couple of roosters, so we thought we might try to hatch some eggs.

One of the girls laid the first couple of eggs in the past few days. It's probably our Delaware, because she is the oldest at least five months. The other hens: Golden Comet, splash, and Blue Maran are all four months old.

The rooster is a Maran with feathered legs and is four months old. He's been crowing about a month and all his feathers and wattles look pretty well developed. There was another rooster, a Delaware, but we culled him a month ago because he was very high strung and crowing at all hours.

So a few things we could use some advice on. Is that rooster sexually mature? Should we even bother to try to hatch the first eggs?

A random factor, I had some nest boxes made out of buckets. At first I put them in the coop. But I ended up taking them out because my coop is pretty tiny. So they are in the run, which is big enough to qualify the eggs as pastured. How likely would the hen brood in the bucket outside the coop??

Any advice would be appreciated!

- Thomas
Edited by Incubus4502 - 5/28/16 at 12:36pm
post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incubus4502 View Post

Hey, y'all,

I've had a couple different flocks of hens so I have the eggs for food thing down. This time around we ended up with a couple of roosters, so we thought we might try to hatch some eggs.

One of the girls laid the first couple of eggs in the past few days. It's probably our Delaware, because she is the oldest at least five months. The other hens: Golden Comet, splash, and Blue Maran are all four months old.

The rooster is a Maran with feathered legs and is four months old. He's been crowing about a month and all his feathers and wattles look pretty well developed. There was another rooster, a Delaware, but we culled him a month ago because he was very high strung and crowing at all hours.

So a few things we could use some advice on. Is that rooster sexually mature? Should we even bother to try to hatch the first eggs?

A random factor, I had some nest boxes made out of buckets. At first I put them in the coop. But I ended up taking them out because my coop is pretty tiny. So they are in the run, which is big enough to qualify the eggs as pastured. How likely would the hen brood in the bucket outside the coop??

Any advice would be appreciated!

- Thomas

Have you noticed the roo mating/mounting the pullets? Have you checked any of the eggs for fertiity?  If you crack a sampling of eggs for fertility, (say before you scramble them for breakfast) look for the blastoderm/blastodisc. A bulleseye says "I'm fertile".  Here's some examples:

 

 

 

I want to say my roos were closer to 6 months before they really got the hang of "it", but I can't really remember.

 

If a hen is truely broody they'll sit where ever their eggs are, but my question would be is your run predator proof and do you leave the coop open to the run all night? Is the food/water in the run?

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply

Need help incubating/hatching? Are you more a hands on hatcher? Come visit us: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1081034/hands-on-hatching-and-help

A guide to hatching from the hands on perspective: http://hatching411.weebly.com/

Reply
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hey, Amy,

Thank you for the advice! Yeah we are away for a while, but when we get back I will definitely check the eggs for fertility unless momma has gone broody.

About the run, I am not 100%, just because of past experience, but it is certainly hawk proof because they were picking the girls off until we made a good jute web over the run. And the run is contained by an electric poultry netting, which so far has repelled cats and toddlers. So we will see! I keep the water and food in the run because the coop is tiny. The nest buckets are under a tree shade structure and bench, so they stay dry and not too hot.

-Thomas
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