New mommy to the chicken incubating world

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MyChildNChicks, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. MyChildNChicks

    MyChildNChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2015
    Hello. I am new to the BYC. We have 8 hens and 1 rooster already. My daughter is about to turn 6 and she wants to incubate eggs. We bought an incubator and egg turner but my question is when my hens lay the eggs how quickly do they have to get put in the incubator? Also I just put the rooster in the coop with the hens last week. Will the eggs be fertile already? Any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Have you seen the rooster dancing for or mounting the hens?
    You can check some of the eggs by cracking a few and examining the germinal disc (little white spot) on the yolk. Fertilized eggs will show a tell-tale bullseye in place of the plain disc (if you have a few eggs from before the rooster arrived you can use those as a comparison to get an idea of what a certainly unfertilized egg looks like). There are several posts here on BYC that have some great pictures of the differences - I'll dig around and link them here in a minute.
    You can keep eggs for a while to build up the number you wish to set (incubate). The numbers vary by study and expert, but one generally agreed upon point is 10 days - which is that after 10 days the successful hatch rate starts to decline, though many folks here have set eggs older than that and had successful hatches. To store the eggs while you are amassing your hatch you can place them in an egg carton in a cool room. Place the eggs in the carton pointy end down and then elevate one end of the carton by placing it on a stack of books or similar item to create an angle. A couple times a day just change ends of the carton that is in the "up" position.
     
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  3. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Overrun With Chickens

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    x2 on Ol Grey Mares advice!
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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  5. MyChildNChicks

    MyChildNChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I am pretty sure my eggs are fertile now. The egg on top an older egg and the one on the bottom was from today.
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    I would agree.

    One thing some forget to think about before they set the eggs is what they will do with the resulting chicks.....especially the cockerels. A good average expectation would be 50/50 for gender ratio - though you may be lucky and hatch pullet heavy or unlucky and be cockerel heavy. We recently hatched five under our broody and ended up with three cockerels. Part of responsible hatching is to have the "then what" in place before the eggs go into the incubator or under the broody. Because your little one is so excited about the project I would encourage you to be very upfront about whatever your plan is and go through the process with that as part of it so that she is not caught off guard if/when the day comes that you have to re-home any excess birds (either to someone else or to freezer camp)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
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  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome to the flock
     
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Those eggs look fertile to me.
     
  9. Book Em Danno25

    Book Em Danno25 Overrun With Chickens

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