Chicken Breeding Pens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rebel985, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. rebel985

    rebel985 New Egg

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    Nov 10, 2011
    Hi all.. I am wanting to start breeding 8 buff orpingtons. I have a a pen I built approx 4' X 12' to separate them from the rest of my flock. Is this big enough to breed all 8 hens? Will the rooster stay busy with all of them in there together, or should I put a couple hens in for a couple of days, and then switch them out with a couple of others? Also, these hens just started laying 2 weeks ago. Should I wait a little longer for the eggs to get a little bigger? Any additional info would help.. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you have other roos you will need to leave the hens separate from the other roos for at least two weeks (I have heard that it is possible for a roo's stuff to be around up to one month later but 2 weeks is the norm). Otherwise you will not be able to control who the father is.

    The usual rule of thumb for space requirements is 4 sq. ft. per chicken in the coop PLUS 10 sq. ft. per chicken in the run.

    If you want all 8 hens to be mamas (genetically I mean) then you would need to have all of them mate with the roo away from the other roos for at least 2 weeks. If you really don't care...just want some Buffie eggs then you might just put a couple hens in with one roo especially in that small space. I have a 6 x 10 dog kennel and it really would only take about 3 large fowl for any lengthy period of time comfortably as my hutch is inside the kennel.

    If you have no other roos, then the eggs should be fertilized within a couple or three days I have read. You can see the fertilized egg when you crack it, so you can check fertility that way to see if you should start saving eggs.

    Yes, you should wait until the hens are older. Pullet eggs are not good for hatching I have read. I have never tried to hatch a pullet egg though. You might wait a few months but that is up to you.

    The eggs will get larger as the hen gets older and they won't be those small eggs anymore.
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chicks.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  3. rebel985

    rebel985 New Egg

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    Thanks for the response... I dont have any other roo running around... I just want to pen them up with the hens and want to make sure he is taking care of all 8... I guess what I am saying is I dont know if he is going to fertilize all 8 or would he keep going back to only 4 out the 8... Or if I were to put half in for 3 days, then the other half in.... Not sure how all that plays out...
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Whether he fertilizes all 8 is very individualized. Some roos are better at breeding and getting the girls.

    I would say it depends on your egg number goals. How many eggs do you want to hatch at once? Does it matter if there are many mamas or just a couple of hens as the mama?

    My Father in Law says he used to run one roo with 20 hens and things were fine. But I don't know if they ended up with a lot of eggs under broody hens that didn't hatch.

    From what I see in pics of breeder pens a lot of folks seem to put 5-6 hens in with a roo just to make sure. I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  5. rebel985

    rebel985 New Egg

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    It dosent matter how many mama's I have... I am trying to get as many eggs as I can... I am incubating. If I remember correctly, I can collect eggs up to 5 days.... Then they have to start incubating or they will go bad? What about where you store the eggs while collecting room temp? Anyways, all I am trying to do is fill up my incubator with fertile eggs!! Thanks again!!
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


    http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/2902/2902-1090/2902-1090.html
    this link has some info you requested re: eggs.

    If you need as many eggs as possible (my incubator only holds 7 eggs LOL) then you can make it work according to your pen space and how many hens will fit in there. Have fun with it!!! [​IMG]
     
  7. rebel985

    rebel985 New Egg

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    Hey, thanks for the link... I have 2 incubator which can each hold 40 eggs. Thats why I try to get as many as possible out of 8 hens.... Thanks for all your help!
     
  8. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 8 girls and 2 roos and all the eggs I'm getting seem to be fertile. I think they would be fine, if you're looking for as many as possible you might want to see if you can find some cheap hatching eggs on CL. We have people here in Ohio who sell pure bred hatching eggs for about $5 a dozen. Maybe you can get some different colors. How fun would it be to have that many chicks peepin about. :)
     
  9. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    I have 8 Buff Orpingtons In a 4x8 Coop with a 8x10 run. I have 100% fertility and 95%- 100% hatch rate. I have a very fertile Rooster and he is very thorough with his girls. I usually get 5-7 Eggs per day from my 7 hens and I usually hat them. I sell a few here on Byc but I hatch 80% or more of my eggs. My coop is a very simple design. I will post pictures tomorrow

    Nate
     
  10. cashdl

    cashdl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All my breeding pens are 8X8 in size. I house 1 roo and up to 5 hens. I collect eggs for 7 days and then set them. On occasion if I am going to be out of town on the day ( Saturday ) that I normally set eggs, I will continue collecting eggs and wait untill the following saturday to set all the eggs. I have good fertility. with 5 hens and 1 roo.


    Lanae
     

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