I think I'm getting more confused by the minute....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emjay, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. emjay

    emjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    doing alot of reading.........on this forum and another one. and am getting more and more confused.

    My ideal plan was to have 12-14 egg laying hens for my daughter to take care, with my help, for her to make some money selling eggs. she also wanted to watch a hen get broody and hatch some eggs.

    from what I've read, I've saw that people put fertile eggs under a hen who's gone broody in the egg laying group.
    others say that finding a broody hen to put with a rooster are hit and miss
    then I read that if you get a broody hen and put fertile eggs under her, you probably have to move her due to the nest boxes being so high up, then I read that if you move them, they often will not want to sit back on the eggs.

    Am I dreaming to think I can get the broody hen and have a wee little family for my daughter to ogle over.

  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    [​IMG] It's not that bad.

    If you get a hen that wants to go broody put her where you want her to set--low nest, seperate pen....whatever works for you. Give her some plastic eggs to sit on and once/if she settles down and stays on them switch them out for fertile eggs after dark. If she doesn't settle on the plastic eggs you need to wait for her or another hen to get back in the mood.
  3. toetoe

    toetoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2009
    I was also waiting for one hen in my flock of 7 hens to go broody. I just kept collecting eggs every day like I always have BUT I did not use all the eggs. The ones that I were quite sure were fertilized I kept in a carton on the other side of my barn in a cool (but not cold) dark area, turning the carton from side to side once a day every day.

    with in 3 weeks one of my hens went broody on 2 eggs and a golf ball in the tall grass. At dusk I took a nest box to her and with gloves on (they will nip) and talking to her very softly moved her and all her stash into the nest box.

    I kept the opening of the nest box to my tummy as I walked her to my brooder and placed the whole thing bird, box and eggs in my brooder. I waited for 1 hour to see if she would leave the eggs. When she did not I took the eggs that I had collected and placed them under her.

    She now is the proud owner of 6 chicks.

    I have done this twice now and has worked both times.

    I hope this helps.
  4. emjay

    emjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    okay, maybe this is what's throwing me off.

    How long are fertile eggs viable outside, without a hen on them?
    How much of a window do you have before a viable egg becomes a breakfast egg?

    Some are telling me to let the roo in with all the egg laying hens, but, I've always had this idea in my head of not eating what could have been a baby. I am a big suck that way, lol.
    If I take eggs everyday for my fridge, how long does it take for that egg to become non viable?
    and how many days does it take for the embryo inside that egg to look like a chick?
    just in case I go ahead with the roo thing in the whole flock, I don't want any surprises on my plate. if you know what I mean.....[​IMG]
  5. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    The embryo will not start developing until the egg has had heat put to it, like in an incubator for a few days or under a hen for a few days. If you collect your eggs regularly and put them in the fridge you aren't going to get a 'surprise' in your plate unless the egg was an old egg the hen had been sitting on for a few days.
    Does that help?
  6. emjay

    emjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    hahah, yes, thankyou.

    I just needed an expert to put the idea back in my head that I can eat the eggs, with or without a roo present. and no surprise on my plate. yay.

    hmmm, maybe I should just let the roo have all the girls. Then I have several options for the eggs , right?

    eating, sale, hatch. sounds like fun.
    as I do have the coop divided for baby purposes, should that day arise.

    so if a hen does lay on a clutch of eggs, on what day does that 'yolk' become a embryo/baby.
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I got tired of waiting for a broody, so I bought a bator. [​IMG]
  8. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read that when a roo breeds the hen that she retains the ah...'essence' of the rooster for some time and her repro system uses it up over a period of time. I read in a book as much as three weeks, and I heard on this list a week and a half.

    Based on that it was my assumption that all the eggs from a pair kept confined were fertile as I'd seen the roo do his job. The hen was not broody but I left her eggs to accumulate over almost two weeks.

    She laid seven...two I had removed (but not refrigerated, I think that 'kills' them) but left future ones in the nest. When she had two more in the nest, I replaced the two I had removed. She laid three more eggs for a total of seven, then started sitting on them.

    Exactly on time day-wise five chicks were born. I left the remaining two eggs under her for two and a half days then discarded them. I didn't open them but they felt too heavy to contain a chick if that makes sense. They could have been the first two eggs I'd stored for a few days, I don't know, I didn't mark them. Five out of seven seemed pretty good to me.

    All the babies lived, and are now six and a half weeks old. I'm almost positive one roo, and four little ladies. Only one has a comb, and 'he' is much bigger than the others.

    I have two mature roosters (but only one mature hen, the one with babies) who run with the flock so it will be my assumption that all eggs laid will be fertile.
  9. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, I forgot. I didn't really understand why chicks didn't hatch over a two week period (like the eggs were laid) instead of all at once till it was explained to me that when she starts sitting on them she more or less 'turns them on' and they start to develop.

    When they are laid they are fertile, but in some sort of suspended animation waiting for the right humidity and heat situation to start to grow into chicks.
  10. toetoe

    toetoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2009
    Just remember that if you are storing eggs till you get a brooder hen, DO NOT put them in the fridge. Store the brooding eggs in a carton or a box with hay, straw or wood chips in it. In a cool (not cold) dark place and turn over every day till needed. Try to store them close to the hen house for quick tuck under but not close enough so the hens can see or set on them.

    As for storing time, you can store your fertile eggs for up to 4 weeks I have been told. I have stored them as long as 3 1/2 week till one went broody and got 5 chicks out of 6 eggs.

    Also I would find a way of getting or making a egg candle so you can look through the shell of the egg if need be. I use an old film protector that has a metal funnel taped over the light so that a small very bright light penetrates the shell and I can see every bit of the inside.
    I have had a hen laying in my field for 2 weeks (had not started brooding on them yet) in the summer heat. I candled the eggs and found NO development so they were eaten.

    Unwashed eggs for eating can be stored in a dark cool place for about 6 weeks without going bad. Fertilized or not.

    I hope this helps you.

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