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Breeding?!? PLEASE HELP!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by rirbrahma, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. rirbrahma

    rirbrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so I've done alot of research and still can't find my answers [​IMG]
    please help if you can. here are my questions!

    After roo and hen mate when can I start saving eggs for incubation?

    How often do i have to mate them?

    How long will they last without incubation?

    Is 1 roo to 3 hens a good ratio?

    I've heard people say that its best to breed them after the hen has laid a regular egg. is that true?

    THANK YOU!!!!
     
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After your hen has been mated, the first egg she lays and maybe also the second one as well, won't be fertilised. If it was me, I'd give it a week before starting to save eggs, to be on the safe side. You won't have to worry about how often 'you' have to mate them, as the roo will no doubt be busy mating them every chance he gets. But do check to see he's actually doing the deed - if he's newly introduced and/or young and the hens don't know him, it might take him a while to work his manly charms on them and get them to submit. If they're not suitably awed by his strutting and crowing, they might well spend a few weeks beating him up and chasing him away. Hen seduction, it can be quite funny to watch...

    One roo to three hens is a good enough ratio that every single egg should be fertilised, so you shouldn't have any worries there, but you might find that with only three hens, each of them is being mated so much that they get quite bad feather damage or bald bits on their heads, backs and shoulders from the roo trampling all over them constantly when he mates with them. I keep two roos with 20-30 hens, and I haven't found a non-fertilised egg in over a year. My breeding pens are one roo with 3-4 hens, and at the end of the season the hens look awful. If I had more good hens, I'd want to have maybe 6-8 of them in with each roo to minimise feather damage.

    The eggs can be safely stored for at least 7 days before you incubate them, and I've stored eggs for up to three weeks and still had good hatch rates. But if I wasn't deliberately experimenting with stored eggs, 10 days would be the most I'd want to store eggs before putting them in my incubator. Store them pointy end down in an egg carton, keep the carton in a cool place, and tip it from side to side each day to 'turn' the eggs. That maximises their chances of developing properly once you do set them.

    When you say 'after the hen has laid a regular egg', do you mean once a pullet has been laying regularly for a while and has stopped laying a weird assortment of huge eggs, tiny eggs, pointy eggs, that sort of thing? It's best not to set a pullet's first eggs, as they do take a while to get their laying mechanism into a regular pattern, and their first few eggs could be double yolkers, no yolkers, thick shells, rubbery shells etc. It's best to wait till they're popping out eggs that are roughly the same size and shape every time they lay.

    Hope all that helps you out a bit! [​IMG]
     
  3. ILOVELEGHORNS

    ILOVELEGHORNS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Very good information....However, depending on the fertility of both chickens, the next time she lays and egg, it most likely wont be fertile. It CAN take up to a week, but with my experience, it has been the seconed egg laid that is fertile.
     
  4. ILOVELEGHORNS

    ILOVELEGHORNS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Generally three days after mating the eggs will be fertile. Those laid up to 2 days after mating are already 'in process'. A hen can retain sperm from a rooster up to 3 weeks + from mating, but fertility rates diminish depending upon the fertility level of the rooster. The general rule of thumb is that eggs should not be held longer than 2 weeks prior to incubation, but it all depends upon how they are stored and handled. I have successfully incubated eggs that were 3 weeks +. 1 rooster to 3 hens may be a good ratio depending upon how large and gentle the rooster is when breeding. It is an excellent ratio for fertility but may be a little hard on the hens. You can allow the chickens to breed at any time; however, it is recommended that pullet eggs should not be incubated due to their small size. Hopefully that is what you meant by 'regular' eggs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  6. rirbrahma

    rirbrahma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:WOW! THANK YOU SOO MUCH! No a friend said to breed a chicken after she has laid her egg of the day.?
     
  7. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] LOL! I'm not sure where anyone would get that idea from. If you have a roo in with some hens, he'll pretty much be mating them constantly. I sometimes wonder mine remember to eat and sleep in between the constant mating. Every time I see them they're on top of a different hen. Seriously!
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I have found it can take up to 2 or 3 weeks for the eggs to be fertile But I have 10 to 12 girls to each boys. It may be sooner for 3 to 1. The only way to tell is to crack one open and check it for fertility and then have an egg for breakfast.
     

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