I'm new to chickens and eggs! Please help!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BantamBecka, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. BantamBecka

    BantamBecka New Egg

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    Aug 16, 2010
    Hello! I am so glad that I found this website! My family and I are new to chicken rearing and I have a few questions!

    1. We bought a silkie chicken at a swap meet about three weeks ago- she previously lived with a male silkie and other females. The first week we had her she laid two eggs and ignored them. Then a couple of days ago she began laying more eggs, but this time she sits on them. Could they be fertile?

    2. If they are fertile, will they die if she's not sitting on them all of the time? She sleeps on them and sits on them occasionally- I just peeked at her and now there are four eggs!

    3. We also just bought a black silkie rooster. We would really love to have little silkie chicks! We just love our chickens! If we find out that her eggs are not fertile, then we would like to put both birds together and hope for the best- If they do turn out to be fertile how long do we have to wait before introducing the male to her?

    4. How often can a silkie or any chicken for that matter lay a brood of fertilized eggs? Meaning- after the babies are old enough to eat and be on their own, how soon can we safely attempt to have her lay more fertilized eggs with our new chicken?

    5. We also have a white rock female chicken and three rhode island reds two male one female ( they were raised together from babies)- the white rock chicken we have had for about two months- the other chickens are afraid of her! She lays eggs once in a while, but not every day-----is this normal?

    Also, We were hoping to mate her with one of the rhode island males, but they won't go near her, she's mean! Will they ever mate? ( still waiting for the males to become sexually mature, no cock a doodle- doing yet- we've had them for 4 months).

    Thank you so much for any help!!![​IMG]!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] [​IMG] Glad you are here! [​IMG]

    1. We bought a silkie chicken at a swap meet about three weeks ago- she previously lived with a male silkie and other females. The first week we had her she laid two eggs and ignored them. Then a couple of days ago she began laying more eggs, but this time she sits on them. Could they be fertile?

    If she has not been with a rooster in three weeks, it is highly unlikely they are fertile. It is not impossible but I would bet a lot of your money and some of mine against it. If the Rhode Island Red roosters are sexually active, she has been with them, and she has allowed them to mate with her, it is not only possible but likely the eggs are fertile. I've had roosters sexually active with older hens at 15 weeks.

    2. If they are fertile, will they die if she's not sitting on them all of the time? She sleeps on them and sits on them occasionally- I just peeked at her and now there are four eggs!

    Are you sure they are her eggs? Other hens will often lay in the same nest as a broody hen and sometimes a broody hen will actually carry eggs from another nest to hers. Hard to believe but I've seen it happen. An egg disappeared and was found in the broody's nest. A broody hen does not lay eggs. If she is sleeping in the nest instead of roosting in her favorite spot, she is broody. Hot as it has been, my broody often spent a lot of time off the nest during the day but was on the nest most of the day and every night. A broody usually knows how long she can be off the nest safely.

    If she is broody you need to start all the eggs under her that you want her to hatch at the same time and remove any other eggs that show up after you start the eggs. If you don't bad things can happen. Eggs take 21 days to hatch from when the broody starts to set on them. If you or other hens keep adding eggs, the broody will take the first chicks to hatch off the nest and the rest will die without hatching. If too many eggs wind up under her, she can't keep all of them warm so some will cool off and die. The those dead eggs get moved back under her and other eggs get pushed out, cool off and die. Let me give you a link to a thread that I think will help. It talks about isolating a broody but it also talks about other things you need to do if you don't isolate her, like marking the eggs.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

    3. We also just bought a black silkie rooster. We would really love to have little silkie chicks! We just love our chickens! If we find out that her eggs are not fertile, then we would like to put both birds together and hope for the best- If they do turn out to be fertile how long do we have to wait before introducing the male to her?

    I'm not sure what this question means. If she is not broody, then her eggs will probably be fertile three days after she is introduced to any rooster, this silkie or any other rooster.

    4. How often can a silkie or any chicken for that matter lay a brood of fertilized eggs? Meaning- after the babies are old enough to eat and be on their own, how soon can we safely attempt to have her lay more fertilized eggs with our new chicken?

    It varies with each individual hen, but usually a hen will start to lay eggs one or two weeks after she weans her chicks. With some hens though it may take a lot longer. There is no one correct answer.

    5. We also have a white rock female chicken and three rhode island reds two male one female ( they were raised together from babies)- the white rock chicken we have had for about two months- the other chickens are afraid of her! She lays eggs once in a while, but not every day-----is this normal?

    It depends on how old the white rock hen is. After they are about two years old, hens start to slow down laying eggs. The lay about 15% fewer eggs every year after that. But this is an average. Averages really don't mean a whole lot with just one hen. You have to have several hens for the averages to really mean anything. If your RIR's are fairly young, then they might be terrified of an older hen. Mature hens can be quite brutal toward younger chickens.

    Also, We were hoping to mate her with one of the rhode island males, but they won't go near her, she's mean! Will they ever mate? ( still waiting for the males to become sexually mature, no cock a doodle- doing yet- we've had them for 4 months).

    When your young roosters get old enough to dominate that older hen they will mate with her. Until they are a little more matue, there is a good chance the older hen will resist letting them to mate with her, either fighting or runnng away. This link will tell you how to check if your eggs are fertile.

    Fertile Egg Pictures
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008

    Hope this helps.
     

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