new project need help Please

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by savilcr, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Georgia
    Ok here is my situation, I have 4 hens, 2 of which are broody I think, all were born on Feb 25 so they are about 7 months old and all laying. Im looking to breed all 4 of them but cant have a rooster in my area, however 5 miles up the road there is a Hispanic family that has a few roosters (not sure what kind) that is willing to let me keep my hens there for a few weeks to breed. I have never bred hens before so im not sure how to do this, do I need to put each one in a cage with just the rooster so they will know which eggs to leave? I don’t plan on buying an incubator and am hoping one of the hens could have 8-10 and I could come move them back to my house and she will do all the work? Thoughts?

    Also I have 3 black sex link and 1 RIR
     
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    If your hens are broody your plan might work, but there's every chance that moving them will put them off their broodiness. But you won't know until you try, so you might as well go for it. You would probably be best putting your four hens in a breeding pen (just a closed coop-and-run that they can't get out of and other birds can't get into) with the rooster of your choice. No point collecting eggs for maybe the first week, as it takes a while for fertile eggs to start being laid. If you think you have two broody birds, collect about 20 eggs, then bring your birds home. Give each of the broodies her own little pen with a nest, food and water, and try them out on some unfertilised eggs for a day or so to see if they're serious about brooding. If they are, swap the eggs over at night and give them the fertile ones to sit on.

    This plan has loads of problems with it, moving the hens around being the biggest one. If you just want chicks but aren't too bothered about them being from your own birds, you might be better buying some hatching eggs from your friends up the road who have the roosters, and giving them to your broody birds to sit on.
     
  3. favorelle fab

    favorelle fab Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
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    I'm only new to the chicken breeding business [​IMG] but I have heard that hens will continue to lay fertile eggs up to a week after being with a rooster. So maybe if you left them with the rooster for a little while and then brought them home, you could collect the eggs they lay for the week and then set them?

    The only problem may be that being moved into new environments might upset the broodiness of your chickens and if you don't have an incubator and the hens decide not to sit then it was all for nothing.

    Another option could be to leave the 2 broodies at home, and send the others then swap the unfertile eggs under the broody hens for the fertile eggs you collect when your girls come home from their holiday:p That way you minimise the chance of breaking the broody hens

    Good luck, I'm hoping to set some eggs into my new homemade incubator in about a week once I've collected enough eggs from my girls. Luckily though we have 2 roosters so fertile eggs aren't a problem...getting the hens to go broody when you want them too.... well thats another problem [​IMG]

    Tracey
     
  4. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    I have a chicken tractor that will work for that, don’t the eggs need to stay warm at all times? How would I be able to switch them out? Also if one hen does hatch a few chicks, will she take care of them and not let any of the other hens eat them?
     
  5. savilcr

    savilcr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 26, 2011
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    anyone?
     
  6. mycountrygirls

    mycountrygirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2011
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    Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, I think the eggs are good for a week or so, but should be kept at room temp, pointy end down? At night, just reach under the hen, pull out all her eggs (you'll have to feel around), and then put the fertile ones back in. She may puff herself up and try to pinch you (bite) but if you do it at night, she's more likely to stay on her nest instead of getting upset and leaving.

    As for letting the mother raise them in the same pen, in my experience the other hens have left the mama and her chicks alone and I was able to keep them all together in one pen. But I did watch at first, I think it just depends on your hens and how much room they have. You may want to keep them seperate for at least a couple days. Some hens are great mamas, keeping careful watch over their chicks. Other mothers could really care less an do their own thing, leaving their poor chicks to scramble to keep up.

    Good luck, you'll have to tell us all how it goes!
     

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