CLUELESS about eggs!!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by olp_63, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. olp_63

    olp_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    WARNING: This is packed with dumb/newbie questions! [​IMG]

    Our 8 bantams are coming of the egg laying age. We are finishing a new coop that will have nesting boxes.

    1) Will the hens lay ALL of their eggs in the boxes? Will they know to do that? Or only the fertilized ones...can they tell the difference?

    Also, I've read threads on people letting their hens simply sit on the eggs until they hatch instead of incubating them.
    2) We don't have an incubator, so can we just let the hens sit on the eggs if we decide we want chicks? Will they hatch? [​IMG]

    And what about ducks. [​IMG]
    3) Do they need nesting boxes on the floor? Do we need to build large boxes for them?

    Thanks so much to everyone who puts up with me and helps me through the struggles of raising poultry! [​IMG]
  2. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2008
    That is a few questions: first
    1) If the hens want to lay in the boxes, they will. The usual trick is to put a golf ball or fake egg in the box because if chickens see one there they think it must be a nice, safe place to lay their eggs, or someone else wouldn't have done it. Nearly all of my eggs are laid int he nest, but on occasion, they'll lay on the floor, or in the ducks' current egg-hiding spot. They don't know if the egg is fertile or not, they just do their thing.

    2) Some chickens will go broody, or act as though they want to sit on a clutch of eggs. they will do this, or not, if it suits them. Some breeds almost never go broody, while others want to be broody all the time. There is nothing you can do to facilitate broodiness, (unless there's a special trick I've never heard of). If they are acting broody, you can always leave some eggs there and see what happens, but there's no guarantees, and for the best overall chicken health, you shouldn't let hens under a year old sit a clutch of eggs because it's very hard on the hen, and they don't always make good mothers at that age. Take that for what it's worth.

    3) Ducks like to lay in safe, protected, fairly secluded places. Mine picked a corner of their fenced enclosure where they had the chicken coop not too far away on one side, and two bales of hay on two others, a fence made up a fourth side. There isn't much traffic through there, and it's protected from the elements, more or less. If you are going to make boxes, try to find a nice, safe place, and stick some golf balls in there to fool them. Every time i stole my cayuga's eggs, she'd find a new place to lay--and they tend to cover their eggs to protect them unlike chickens who drop and run. Some ducks will look for tall grasses to lay eggs in, so you might have to keep an eye out and see if you can bring the nest into a safe place if she picks somewhere she might get caught by a predator when she starts sitting on them--if she wants to sit at all.

    Good luck!
  3. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    I have have 8 hens and 4 nesting boxes (mine are milk crates on the floor) they lay only in 2 of the boxes and I have no rooster so just collect eggs daily. if you have a roo and a broody hen that wants to sit on them let her and you should get chicks. But I dont think hens will do this all the time.
  4. Jennym

    Jennym Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2008
    How do Cohins lay? I hear not as good as other breeds. I have two in my flock. But I have four other hens as well. I have a Barred Rock, White Rock, Leghorn, Silver Laced Wynandotte.
    They are only 15 weeks of age, so it will be a few more weeks before we get eggs.
  5. chickenfanatic

    chickenfanatic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    deming new mexico
    seems like heather j and the others have pretty much answered ur ?s but i will add and i knowwww this is common sense but ud be suprised if u want ur hens to sit and hatch eggs u must have a rooster hahahah i know i know but i know people that had all hens and waited for months for the eggs to hatch

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