New flock for hatching eggs - where do I start?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jezahu, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Jezahu

    Jezahu Out Of The Brooder

    May 9, 2012
    Ok so we have 8 laying hens (no roos) for food eggs in our current pen and coop. It's pretty big for just 8 hens. We also have another "shed" that runs along one side of the pen and we are considering converting that into another coop, running another piece of fence through the pen to separate them and getting a Roo with a new flock for fertilizing eggs to raise meat birds and also possibly to sell the laying hens at a local sale barn.

    Does that make sense?

    So my questions are:

    1) is splitting the pen into two sections and keep them separated necessary? Otherwise how do you know which are fertilized?

    2) how many hens and Roos should I get?

    3) should I let them sit on the eggs themselves or pull the eggs and incubating them ourselves?

    4) what do I need that's different from my other flock for raising and hatching chicks?

    5) anything else I should know?
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    1. If you want to keep the rooster with the hens separate from your current layers and keep the fertile and non-fertile eggs separate you can do that, but if you don't mind eating fertile eggs... If you are getting different breeds it would make sense to keep them separate, as you will get a better price for pure breeds as apposed to "mutts" or X breeds.

    2. That is up to you, how much space you have, how big you want this operation to be. Good egg layer will lay 90% or 9/10 days and a rooster to ±10 hens will ensure most of the eggs will be fertile.

    3. Broodiness is unpredictable. Some hens/breeds are more prone to broodiness than others. If you want to hatch chicks on a regular basis getting an incubator will be better. You will be able to decide when to hatch and how many.

    4. A brooder for the chicks (if you hatch them in an incubator), a grow out pen for the chicks to grow up in and chick starter food.

    5. Nothing I can think of now!

    If you have more questions, shoot.

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