Just added a rooster to my flock - questions on setting, hatching, gathering eggs for food

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DayKay, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. DayKay

    DayKay Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2009
    We have 12 layers (mixed kinds and ages) from whom we have been gathering about 7-9 eggs on a daily basis.

    We were just given a young "rescue" rooster, so we now have the capability to hatch chicks. However, eggs to eat was our primary reason for getting chickens.

    How can we do both?

    I'm very unsure as to how we can let a hen set on a batch of eggs without the other hens laying there, disturbing her, etc. How do you let a clutch develop into a clutch while still collecting eggs to eat?

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Dalene
     
  2. MommaBee

    MommaBee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a broody hen?
     
  3. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah well first you need a broody hen. The best thing to do is once the broody hen is sitting on some eggs, section her off from the rest of the chickens. Because my hens all use the exact same nesting box. She my broody hens always get disturbed. If you just section her off from the rest, she can do her business and you can still collect the eggs from the others.
     
  4. chickydee64

    chickydee64 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI, As already stated.you'll need a hen that has gone broody first...........It is a state they go into.cannot be forced.=)
    I have a dog kennel to give my broodies.the kind they ship in.really nice, lets the hen feel like she is hiding and safe.
    Good Luck
     
  5. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
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    Dog kennel. Very nice. Works amazing.
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Yup. Must have a broody hen in her broody state, until then gather eggs as usual.

    Broody hens don't develop by having a clutch of eggs in the nest. It's hormonal. Many broodies will set, flattened out over NOTHING, just as crabby and beady-eyed about hatching something as if there were eggs there.

    Sequestering a confirmed broody hen is often best. Otherwise, do what I usually do: I mark eggs I'm allowing a broody to keep with a Sharpie; just an X will do. I gather eggs, check under the broody hen(s) to count eggs with my fingers and if there are more than I marked, I roll eggs out from under her just far enough to check for the X. Unmarked eggs get gathered.

    Granted, broody hens can be really protective of their nest and eggs, but all of mine have allowed me to do this. I have only been pecked ONCE; the rest of the time the prospective mommas have only "air-pecked" at me, chittered like they were possessed, and made themselves the biggest, fluffiest ball of feathers with eyes and a beak one has ever seen. :lol:

    Once chicks begin to hatch, I give the new family some protection from the rest of the flock. There are different ways to accomplish this.

    But you've got some time before those become necessary to know. ;)
     
  7. DayKay

    DayKay Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2009
    Wow, lots of great advice here! Hubby thinks we should just gather eggs and incubate - I'm okay with that, but I'd really, really like to see the process done by a hen. Love the X idea. So I think I may do both - incubate some (when the current batch of duck eggs in the incubator has hatched), and then watch for a hen to go broody and do the X thing, the isolate her in the dog kennel.

    We already have safe sections - way too many of them! LOL The whole corner of our living room is for newly hatched/bought chicks and ducklings, heat lamp, warming pad, etc., totally screened off to protect them from the other critters in the family (moody cat, German Shepherd puppy, and 19-month old granddaughter who loves the "Baby. Bawk, Bawk.") Then we have the outside protected area- totally screened in but outdoors, with access to the barn, for night (mostly critter proof, cement floors). Then we have a 70' x 100' fenced area that the big chickens get, off the barn and their "coop" where the laying box is.

    Thanks, y'all!

    Dalene
     

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