Best way to increase flock size the fastest. Need advice.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GuamChicken, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. GuamChicken

    GuamChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, I have a particular situation that I need advice on that I have been thinking about for awhile. . I am relatively new to the chicken community, not much experience, but some. I did manage to hatch and raise 3 Buff Orpington's to maturity. I have a nice coop for them etc. Unfortunately..... 2 of the 3 Orp's are roosters, and the hen is actively laying. I want a larger, maybe 15 bird flock of BO's. The 3 get along great. What would be the best way to do this. Collect the eggs and incubate, but that would take probably 20 days to get 14 eggs. Let the hen try and go broody, I never tried this. Not sure how well that would work unless I completely removed the roosters, but with 3 birds ?? I was thinking of maybe only incubating 5-7 eggs , just to get going, but then I'm thinking with the staggered brooders it will be too much a problem with integrating them in small batches. I don't have the means to have 3-4 grow out pens etc. One last side note, due to my location, it's virtually impossible to get BO fertilized eggs, or that would be my easy answer, so everything is riding on my one hen. All advice is appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You can't 'make' a hen go broody, she either will or she won't.

    I assume you can't just go buy 15 BO pullet chicks?

    Are you sure the eggs are fertile?

    Do you have an incubator?
    If you do have an incubator, your best bet is to collect fertile eggs for 7-10 days, keep them in a cool place(50-60F) and set them in the incubator to hatch. Older than 7-10 days would be stretching their chances if viability too far.

    If you're gong to incubate eggs, you do need the facilities to keep them safe from the older birds...there's lots of ways to do that, but it's hard to get around it.
     
  3. GuamChicken

    GuamChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks aart. I'm not sure about going broody, as I always collect the egg every day. I assume they are fertile, without being two graphic, I see what goes on in the coop every day. lol.. I do have a good incubator, so I'll give it a go, thanks.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Collecting the eggs will not keep her from going broody if she's broody.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I have never done it, but I have thought about it, a lot of people do order eggs on here, have them shipped and hatch those out.
     
  6. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    If you aren't able to have hatching eggs or day old pullets shipped to you, then you will have to incubate small batches of eggs.

    While you want fertile eggs, it would benefit your hen to have some alone time. Constantly being bred by two males will take a toll on her.
     
  7. GuamChicken

    GuamChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Thats what I was thinking. But with only 3 birds it's kind of stressful for the hen either way. When I did separate them she was stressed too much. I'll try and incubate a few eggs and hope for the best. I didn't know that collecting the eggs doesn't keep them from going broody. That's interesting. Just curious, if there are no eggs around to sit on, how do you know if its a broody hen. Will she just sit in the nest ?
     
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You don't have much choice. If you can't buy birds your best bet is to set eggs in the bator every 10 days or so and deal with the staggered hatch/brooding issue as best as you can.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yep....all flattened out.....and might growl, hiss, bite, generally complain if disturbed.

    If you pull her out of the nest and put her on the ground, she might just flop down right there and do the same things.....
    ....then run right back to the nest, hopefully after she eats, drinks and drops a huge turd.

    If she does this for 3 days and nights......you either give her fertile eggs or 'break' her of her broodiness.
     
  10. GuamChicken

    GuamChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Ahhh.. .. Thank you, now I know what to look for. And I definitely do not have a broody hen obviously. She acts the opposite of what you describe really.
     

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