Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Myles, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Myles

    Myles In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2011
    I have 10 chickens.
    2 Silver Laced Polish - 1 rooster and 1 hen.
    1 Ameraucana (Easter egg)
    1 Rooster (I'm not sure yet of the breed)
    4 Road Island Reds
    2 White leghorn

    They are all about 7 months old and most are laying.
    I have a couple questions:

    When would I assume some eggs would be fertile?
    Do I need to separate, in a smaller area, a rooster and a hen? or will he/they go at it in the coop?
    Is spring the best time to incubate eggs or can I do it at any time?
    Are there negative consequences to letting my birds "interbreed"? Not sure if that is the correct term.

    Thanks for any and all input.

  2. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    Crack open an egg you should see a little white bulls-eye in the yolk. They should be fertile though, the rooster was probably practicing before they started laying.
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Practicing. LOL! I bet he was!

    If they've been laying for a couple of months already, I'd imagine most of the eggs will be fertile already. If you want to know who's the daddy (and the mommy) you can separate a pair, but you don't need to. They'll, um... 'go at it' all over the place. I don't think my two roos do anything BUT go at it all day long! Spring is the best time to incubate but only by a very small margin. If you're breeding for size and want your chicks to reach their full size potential, hatch them early in the year. But really you can hatch all year round. I've got some 10 week olds, some 8 week olds and another batch in the bator right now.

    When you say interbreeding, do you just mean breeding randomly? Not like inbreeding, where they're actually related to each other genetically? Inbreeding is okay as long as they're not too closely related. Like, lots of breeders who are selectively breeding for specific traits will sometimes mate sons back to mothers, or daughters back to fathers. Breeding full siblings is generally something that most folk will try to avoid though. If your birds aren't related then I can't think of any negative consequences of allowing them to breed together randomly, other than you'll probably get a lot of funny looking crossbreeds and you won't know for sure who all's related to whom. But if that's something you don't mind, then go for it!
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:I agree. You will probably get a lot of different looking chicks depending on the different Roos and Hens, a barnyard mix.
  5. silkymom1986

    silkymom1986 The Silkie Villa

    Sep 28, 2011
    Byhalia, MS
    LOL, yea mine "practice" pretty much all day too! We wanted full breed so we seperated our wellsummer roo and 3 welsummer hens for 21 days before we started collecting to incubate, because we wanted to make sure our Gold Laced cochin roo didn't cross with the wellies. But if you don't care what you come out with then I wouldn't hassle with seperating them. Good luck!!

  6. Myles

    Myles In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2011
    My 2 roosters are in with the 8 hens at all times. 1 rooster is dominant and the other stays away most of the time (I may put him in a small cage with a couple hens for a night or 2). The dominant one "goes at it" with the Rhode Island and especially the White Leghorns, but not the Americana. My family loves the green eggs of the Americana and I'd like to see if mixed offspring will lay greens. I currently have 2 green eggs in the incubator. It's only been a day now so I have no idea if they are fertile.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by