How to manage nests?

Cyneswith

Songster
Jun 14, 2017
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Camden, SC
What is the minimum number of eggs for a broody hen to hatch at a time?

How easily can chicks be sold?

Can one raise just two chickens to the pullet/cockerel age? (I'd sell pullets, eat cockerels.) How fast would a nest outgrow a separate nesting area?

I plan to build a coop for 6, have 3 layers, and potentially one rooster, and was wondering about the fate of any hatchlings I might end up with...
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
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Conway SC
What is the minimum number of eggs for a broody hen to hatch at a time?

How easily can chicks be sold?

.

One(1) answer to first question.

I have sold 10,000 chicks in the last 3 years, but that's here---I do not know about your area, plus most would not want to buy 1 chick or try to raise 1 chick----they do better in a pair or numbers.
 

Kiki

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You gotta find out what the market is for chicks vs chickens in your specific area and what breeds are selling, before you even get your own chickens.
 

Cyneswith

Songster
Jun 14, 2017
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Camden, SC
I'm not really getting them for sales purposes (I'd be happy to provide them to 4-H kids), but I want to have an idea of what I'm getting into if I consider a rooster. I didn't know if there was a minimum number that really "worked" - I mostly see chicks sold singly or in half dozen increments. And I don't want my son to get sold on the idea of hatching chicks if I don't have home/purpose for them in mind.

I'm also in SC. :) We plan on getting into 4-H before their next chicken project starts, and there are two Orpington chick sellers at our farmer's market. Orpingtons are what I'm interested in, since I have small kids.
 

wvchics

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Jun 7, 2017
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Orpingtons' are great. I have a ten year old daughter and 12 buff Orpingtons. They are so sweet. Even my rooster has a good temperament. If you are doing it for a project I would make sure you have the facilities for any birds you hatch, just in case. I wouldn't recommend getting a grown rooster. If you cannot get one that's young you could always order fertilized eggs. A hen will sit any egg, and you can add or remove eggs depending on how many chicks you want.
 

Kiki

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If and when you get chickens...a hen will only "sit" on eggs to hatch them IF she goes broody.
A rooster is not needed for a hen to lay eggs.


"How easily can chicks be sold?

Can one raise just two chickens to the pullet/cockerel age? (I'd sell pullets, eat cockerels.) How fast would a nest outgrow a separate nesting area?"

^This made me think you wanted to get chickens to sell.
What do you mean by "how fast would a nest outgrow a separate nesting area"?
 

MageofMist

Crowing
Dec 9, 2016
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As for me, I have Silkies and found the best hatch-rate so far (out of 2 hatches, so I am not fully experienced) is about 5 eggs, other chicken breeds which are larger can fit more eggs under them. Last time she had 14 eggs and only 5 hatched, so I left her with 5 when she went broody again and I have 4 chicks on me right now and 1 pipped egg in the incubator wriggling about having pipped last night, so it looks to be a 100% hatch rate. I put the eggs in the incubator as she left the nest the morning after the first egg pipped and so it had humidity issues hatching.

As for the birds themselves, it kinda depends on where you live. I got a rooster and hen, the parents of my chicks, for £15 for both, but I have seen other adults and even hatching eggs sell for higher, so I got a good deal. The closest place to me that sells Silkie chicks (the breed I have and am most experienced with) sells them for £7 each.
 

Cyneswith

Songster
Jun 14, 2017
384
560
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Camden, SC
If and when you get chickens...a hen will only "sit" on eggs to hatch them IF she goes broody.
A rooster is not needed for a hen to lay eggs.


"How easily can chicks be sold?

Can one raise just two chickens to the pullet/cockerel age? (I'd sell pullets, eat cockerels.) How fast would a nest outgrow a separate nesting area?"

^This made me think you wanted to get chickens to sell.
What do you mean by "how fast would a nest outgrow a separate nesting area"?
I can definitely see how I gave the wrong impression. I'm a homeschool mom with a sensitive 4 year old*, a two year old, and NO experience with chickens. I know hens will lay lovely edible eggs without a rooster. I was debating getting rooster chick only if I had a broody hen (with Orpingtons, it seems likely) and only if I particularly like raising chickens. I know roosters are NOT pets, and my kids need to know how to treat chickens before I get one.

I'm finalizing my coop plans, and I think I'm making my coop large enough I don't have to stress over this (flock of 3-4, space for 8 adults.)

*"What happens if a rooster likes to peck me even if you've trained him?" "We'll eat 'im." "But... *face screws up* then he'd be dead! *bawling over hypothetical mean rooster*"
 

Kiki

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Words get confused, misread all the time.
Thanks for clearing it up.

Your smart for building it bigger.;)
 

MageofMist

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Dec 9, 2016
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My silkie roo is a pet, but Silkies are well known for their docile temperaments. He is a total marshmallow and takes treats from my hand and lets me pet him when he isn't busy keeping an eye out for danger, but he being a rooster has his moments, if one messes with his hen and chicks and they flap about or make distress sounds, he will jump, but the moment you stop or calm the hen or chick down, he stops.

I know with chickens it is mainly to do with luck in the individual personalities though, but so far Peep-Peep, his son, is still just as cuddly and sweet as ever.

I would buy an incubator though, even if you plan to brood with hens, as if the hen leaves the nest before the eggs hatch after pipping, even for a short break, it leads to humidity issues. I had to put my 5 eggs that the hen incubated in the incubator so they could properly hatch, she still accepted them as her brood despite me taking the eggs away and handing her the fluffed up chicks once they hatched and dried off.
 

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