Just got a roo...need help

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by KTruxillo, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. KTruxillo

    KTruxillo Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so we got a RIR roo to add to our existing flock of RIR, and Red stars, introductions went well,he rounded up our younger chicks last night to make sure everyone was safely in the coop, while my 5 adult Red Stars continue to sleep outside still, anyway, we are now trying to figure out how we want to go about raising chicks. In addtition to our RIR and red stars, we have 5 Barred Rocks and 5 Buff Orp's (all hens) ordered set to arrive in Aug. Do we just leave the roo to do his thing and still collect eggs to eat and then when we are ready to raise some chicks to collect the eggs we want and set them under a broody hen? And is there a difference in how we treat fertile vs unfertile eggs as far as collecting to eat? How long does it take for the embryo to develop? Love my chickens but I just got so confused with what to do!!!![​IMG] Thanks!
     
  2. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I eat my fertalized eggs and don't treat them any differently. I'm new, so I don't know if that's the correct way--but I haven't found anything gross yet [​IMG]

    I am not a good one to talk to about hatching, but I will say if he's your only roo and all chickens are kept together he might not make it to all the gals, depending on how many you have.
     
  3. KTruxillo

    KTruxillo Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I've heard that there is no difference in fertile or unfertile besides a growing embryo at some point. We don't want a ton of chicks so we have only one roo to keep us in meat and eggs. I'm sure at some point we will get another roo but right now I think my hands are full enough!
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't know how you handle your eggs for eating. I'd keep gathering all eggs for eating as you are currently doing. When a hen goes broody, you need to wait a couple of days to be sure she is really serious about being broody. My test is that if she sleeps in the nest two cionsecutive nights instead of on the roosts, she is ready for some eggs. You can collect eggs for her while you are checking to see if she is serious about being broody.

    When you think you may have a broody, start collecting eggs for hatching. Try to get clean eggs that are regular size for the hen. Egg size can vary by breed, but you do not want an egg that is excessively small or excessively large for that breed for incubation. The ideal is to keep them in a place around 55 to 65 degrees, but many of us don't have those places. Just do the best you can. A place with higher humidity helps too, but again, not all of us have those either. Store them in an egg carton with the pointy side down. What you are actually trying to do is keep the air sac up. You can turn the eggs a few times a day if you want to, but it really is not necessary for a few days. To turn them, get a block of wood and put it under one end of the egg carton. When you turn them, move that block of wood to the other side. The idea is that you don't want the yolk to settle against the side of the egg shell. It should not take you many days to get all the eggs you need for her.

    The embryo will not start to develop until it is close to incubation temperatures, but it does start to develop when it hits incubation temperatures. It varies a bit, but you might actually see some development if you crack it about 17 hours after it starts incubation. The egg should hatch in about 3 weeks, sometimes a day or two early or a day or two late, even under a broody, but somewhere around 3 weeks.
     
  5. KTruxillo

    KTruxillo Out Of The Brooder

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    That was great information! Thanks so much, as of right now we only have 5 hens laying so we collect 3-5 eggs daily and put them in a egg carton. Do you keep your eggs in the fridge? I've read both ways, that they can be on the counter or in the fridge but that it is best for fertile eggs to go in the fridge to keep any development from happening in the off chance that it might? The other problem we are having is that our older hens are not roosting in the coop anymore but laying outside in the run at night, they are still laying in the nesting boxes though. We live in south louisiana so my guess was that it is just cooler and more comfortable for them outside, however all the chicks still continue to go into the coop at night. Thanks again for the info, it was great!
     
  6. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I leave all eggs on the counter until I wash them. At that point they go in the fridge.

    Is the run secure? I wouldn't let them sleep out side--with my set up it's not safe.
     
  7. KTruxillo

    KTruxillo Out Of The Brooder

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    Run is secure, they all curl up together in a corner about the time the others are going in the coop. We have left our eggs out on the counter and so far have not had any issues, however they will probably be going in the fridge now that we have the rooster. Maybe we will try looking the hens up at night again and see what the do after that on their own.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You are not supposed to refrigerate hatching eggs, but some people do. Some parts of the refrigerator are warmer than other parts. Some refrigerators are set for higher overall temperatures for others. If your house is real warm, the refrigerator may not be all that bad a place to keep them, but it in not the preferred place if you have other reasonable options.

    If they are stored in a really warm place, like in the 80's even, they can develop a little and hatch a bit early. A little bit won't hurt, but if you keep them for several days, it can make a difference. It is not exactly an exact science. Just do the best you can and you will probably do pretty well. Most of us don't do it exactly right.

    My last hatch out of a broody was 7 out of 8 that developed. My last incubator hatch was 14 out of 16 developers, which is OK in my book. I did not store them perfectly before they were set.
     
  9. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Yes... let him just do his thing (just as you said above). Treat eggs just the same for collecting to eat (I assume you collect daily or several times daily). 21 days from being layed to hatching. Good luck & enjoy your birds. [​IMG]
     

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