Hatching Questions!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by modchicken, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. modchicken

    modchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    152
    2
    81
    Jun 19, 2012
    Hi! At the moment I have a BR pullet, EE cockerel, Red Star rooster, and a Black Star/BSL hen. I don't know much about hatching and breeding and etc. I was thinking about breeding my chickens? Could I do it? Do you recommend it? They all currently live together and the Black Star should be laying soon. They would all be very mixed baby chicks? I'm not sure of the process and I wondered if I could get a little info. When do they breed? Any times of the year specifically? Do I need to separate any of my chickens or anything? Ugh I'm sorry for this very long post... but thanks for the help everyone!
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

    12,103
    6,414
    521
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    If the roosters have access to the hens, they'll breed them :) Mixed chicks can be fun and it's exciting to see how they'll turn out. I'm currently in the lockdown portion of my first hatch. All I really can say is to read up on the incubation process before you start. It's not hard, and it's a lot of fun! However, you're gonna want more hens. One hen to a rooster is going to cause problems for your hens. The roosters will overbreed them and their backs can get torn up and their feathers can get yanked off the back of their heads and necks. Usually 10 hens to a rooster is recommended, although I have 6 hens to rooster right now and they're doing okay. I'm adding more hens, though. Also, the first eggs you get are not the best for hatching as they will be smaller than is normal and the chick will grow too big for the shell and might have problems hatching. Otherwise, have at it! It's fun and addictive, and as long as you have a plan as to what to do with the chicks you're all set.

    Basically, to hatch, you're going to put the eggs in an incubator at 99.5 degrees. The humidity should be somewhere between 30 - 50%, although some people like to dry hatch. I've never tried that. You turn the eggs 180 degrees 3-5 times a day for 18 days. After 18 days, you stop turning and increase the incubator humidity to 60-70%. You don't open the incubator after day 18 until all the eggs have hatched. They're due to hatch on day 21. Those are the basics but there are more in depth articles in the learning center. Good luck if you decide to do it!
     
  3. modchicken

    modchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    152
    2
    81
    Jun 19, 2012
    Thanks so much for all the info! I know I just have that 2:2 ration of hens and roosters..... there all really sweet if that changes anything? They've all grown up together. What if I just added one hen? Still to many roosters and not enough hens? I just don't have the room for too many more hens....
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by