Breeding chickens

sbtgal

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 8, 2011
74
8
41
Austin
I wasn't sure where to put this, but I figured flock management was the best bet. So, I have a small flock of laying hens, no roosters. Let's say I wanted to breed one of them. Do people actually take hens and roosters back and forth for breeding like dog owners do? I would guess if I stuck my hen in with some strange rooster she'd probably get beat up pretty bad. Where I live I simply can't have a rooster. I really got the girls just for egg laying, but a batch of chicks someday would be pretty cool.
 

HEChicken

Crowing
10 Years
Aug 12, 2009
7,552
203
336
BuCo, KS
My Coop
An easier option is probably to just purchase some fertile eggs if and when one of your laying hens goes broody. She will sit on them, hatch them and raise them for you. They won't be YOUR eggs exactly but she won't care about that.
 

ChicKat

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
x2 what HEChicken said. Especially if a rooster is not on your to do list. With fertile eggs, you could get a nice variety of chicks. You could get them from a local person or a hatchery. I would take that route rather than eBay. Good luck when you take the plunge.
 

sabianshepherds

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
132
0
89
Cleveland
I've heard people have done that, but a lot of people are worried about biosecurity. I got a roo from the lady who I got the original hatching eggs from, and I go to her farm almost once a week, but now that I'm going to have my flock NPIP certified, I can't get any more birds from her. So I'm going to use the roo to get fertile eggs, hatch some chicks in the incubator, and probably send this roo to freezer camp.
 

saladin

Songster
10 Years
Mar 30, 2009
2,831
129
221
the South
Quote:And why not? As long as you test the birds you get (and everything comes out fine in the test) it doesn't matter what the source of your birds.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,272
14,634
727
Southeast Louisiana
I have a small flock of laying hens, no roosters. Let's say I wanted to breed one of them. Do people actually take hens and roosters back and forth for breeding like dog owners do?

I would not do this for biosecurity reasons. Either flock could have something that they are immune to but can infect the other flock. Coccidiosis is a great example. But, yes, some people do mix flocks. Usually, it is not a problem, but sometimes the results are disasterous.

I would guess if I stuck my hen in with some strange rooster she'd probably get beat up pretty bad.

That just depends in the rooster and the circumstances. Usually the rooster is glad to accept another hen into his harem, but the hen has to find her place in the pecking order with the other hens. The rooster is probably not going to be your problem. It will be the rest of the flock.

Where I live I simply can't have a rooster. I really got the girls just for egg laying, but a batch of chicks someday would be pretty cool

If you hatch eggs, you will get some roosters. You need a plan to handle that.

I agree with some of the others. Unless you have a specific reason to want the eggs to come from one if your hens, I'd strongly suggest getting fertile eggs. The best source is someone local where you can pick up the eggs, not get shipped eggs. You may already know a local source. If not, you can find your state thread on this forum in the Where am I? Where are you? section, talk to people at the feed store and maybe put a note on the bulletin board, talk to your county extension agent (in the phone book under county government) or put an add on Craigslist.
 

sabianshepherds

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 2, 2011
132
0
89
Cleveland
Quote:And why not? As long as you test the birds you get (and everything comes out fine in the test) it doesn't matter what the source of your birds.

If I bring in a bird from anyone who is not NPIP, it invalidates my certification. I would have to have someone come out and test those birds again. As it is, I've had to wait four months already for someone to come out and test, and it's not free. The tester is a long way from me, several hours, she'll test in Oct., and then I won't test again till next October. If I get any new birds in the year that the cert is good for, then I will only get them from someone who has NPIP cert.
 

saladin

Songster
10 Years
Mar 30, 2009
2,831
129
221
the South
Quote:And why not? As long as you test the birds you get (and everything comes out fine in the test) it doesn't matter what the source of your birds.

If I bring in a bird from anyone who is not NPIP, it invalidates my certification. I would have to have someone come out and test those birds again. As it is, I've had to wait four months already for someone to come out and test, and it's not free. The tester is a long way from me, several hours, she'll test in Oct., and then I won't test again till next October. If I get any new birds in the year that the cert is good for, then I will only get them from someone who has NPIP cert.

I was just wondering. Here in SC most of us are certified Testers. We take a class ($50) and thus can do it ourselves. Of course, most of us that are breeders only purchase stock from other known breeders; so there is no problem anyway.

Doesn't your state give NPIP classes? It makes it all alot easier. We do have someone that comes out twice a year and does the AI swab test for us (if you are AI Clean) and checks over the place too. The folks we work with at the State Vets office in SC are great folks.
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
244
273
Central Oregon
If you would like to have some chicks and you aren't allowed to have roosters, I suggest that you purchase day old sexed pullets.

Getting rid of extra roosters can be very difficult and you will get a lot of them if you hatch eggs. You can order all hen chicks and enjoy having baby chicks without having to worry about what to do with the roosters.

[[[[[[..........And why not? As long as you test the birds you get (and everything comes out fine in the test) it doesn't matter what the source of your birds........]]]]]

The problem is that as soon as a non-NPIP bird sets foot on the property, ALL the birds must be re-tested, not just the new one. It's not free. There is a field call/ mileage charge, plus a cost per bird. Plus all the incubators get swabbed again, even if the new bird never got close to them.

It might be possible to meet the tester somewhere on neutral ground, before the new bird ever arrives at your home and get just that one tested. That would depend upon having a tester close by, or upon being willing to drive the bird for many miles to meet the tester.

On top of that, there is serious danger of introducing a new disease or a new parasite to your flock. There are many chicken diseases that are not tested for by the NPIP tester.
 
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