Hatching eggs or chicks?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 3chickchicks, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    I want to add just two birds to my flock (3 birds) and let my broody raise them. I want to add an EE and a breed that lays dark chocolate colored eggs. I really like the Wheaten Marans and feel it would be a nice color to add to my small flock of mostly dark colored birds. However, I have a few obstacles.

    1. I only want to add two birds
    2. I'm in the city and can't have roosters
    3. The Wheaten isn't exactly common
    4. I'd have to time delivery of chicks with my broody

    I went to the feed stores and the chicks they have are too old for getting a broody to adopt them. They're also well stocked so I know they won't be getting any new ones in the near future. Plus, they don't have Wheatens or any of the dark brown laying breeds.

    So far I haven't found any hatcheries that sell both EE and Wheatens in chicks. FWIW, I'm also looking at the "Amerucanas" which, as I understand, are really EEs when you're talking about hatchery stock. Most hatcheries seemed to be sold out until next year some time anyway.

    The only problem with hatching eggs is the chance of getting roosters. Not sure how to work around this. I'm really squeamish about processing any birds just because of their sex. Not sure how easy it would be to get rid of roosters, even if I were to give them away. If I decide to chance it, to get two pullets, one of each breed, do you order two eggs of each breed? As I understand, there aren't guarantees that the eggs will even hatch. Then, the ratio of pullet to rooster is what, 50/50?

    Or maybe I should give up and try and find older birds that can handle integrating with adult birds. But I would love to let my broody be a mother. She has gotten broody five times and is only just over a year old. Of course, with my luck now she'll decide not to get broody until spring. We're coming up on fall and I guess they'll do their first big molt. Does that mess with broodiness?

    Any advice would help.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I have a hen that went broody in late summer, but we are getting past it now. I would be VERY surprised to get a broody hen now, but I do not add artificial light.

    I have kept hens now for the past 8 years, and sporadically before that, mine have only gone broody in the early or mid summer. I think that it is a daylight thing, as in the last 7 years I have always had one go broody about the end of May, first of June.

    I have done it both ways. Eggs and chicks, with a little better luck with chicks.

    You are going to have problems with chicks or eggs and possible roosters.

    However, what I think I would do, is contact your local poultry club. If you don't know of any, ask at the feed store, or ask at the county extension office. Or check on here, for people that are close to you. There are crazy chicken ladies near you, I would just about bet. That might be a way to find someone who would be willing to take an unexpected rooster, don't ask any questions about what they are doing with it, or someone who might just have the bird you are looking for. I have done this numerous times.

    Mrs K

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