Fertilized? How do you know??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CityBredCountry, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. CityBredCountry

    CityBredCountry Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 1, 2014
    I am new to chickens. We have 28 hens with 2 Roosters. We are going to be using eggs to eat in addition to hatching. We also want to sell some eggs for hatching. Ours our free/open range chickens so I don't really monitor who is getting fertilized.

    How do we separate the eggs? How can I tell which ones are which?

    How can I be sure to get fertilized eggs, or non?
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    If you have different breeds, and you want to sell hatching eggs from a particular breed, for example Barred Rock, then you will need to separate the breeds. Unless your breeds lay a specific egg color, you won't be able to tell the difference.

    If you collect the eggs daily, then your customers that want to eat the eggs will not be able to tell if they are fertile or not. There is a tiny dot called a "bullseye" that is actually indication of a fertile egg. The dot is often hard to see and it's like a white shadow. (That's how it looks in my humble opinion.)

    You could put a rooster and his hens in a specific area, then you can incubate those eggs at first to see if they are fertilized. Once things are going well, then you could sell some eggs.

    With free ranging, I do believe a hen could avoid the rooster, and avoid mating, so I think the chances would be less if you continue to free range them.

    I would suggest containing them in a coop/run for part of the day, and allowing them to free range each day until dusk. If you want to advertise hatching eggs of a specific breed, then you don't want to free range the hens and roosters of different breeds at the same time, because then you could have mixed breeds.
  4. kevyrevy

    kevyrevy New Egg

    Nov 1, 2014
    I sold hatching eggs for a while from my Jersey Giant flock. They were all in a coop with a run. For selling hatching eggs you should adhere to a hen rooster ratio. One rooster to 4-5 hens is ideal. You having 28 hens and 2 roosters running free no telling what would be mated or which ones. Also you have no idea of knowing which egg was laid by what hen. By having four or five of your hens seperated from the rest and kept up with one of the roosters you have the best chance of having all those eggs being laid to be fertile. Crack one at least once a week to look for the white bulls eye as explained by Chicmom above. Some breeds will also produce fertile eggs for up to two weeks from just one visit from the rooster. If I were you and if they were all the same breed I would put six separate with one roo, another six with the other roo, Then you would have 12 hens laying daily hatching eggs and 16 hens laying eggs to eat.

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