New to chickens


In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 31, 2012
I have found a deal that I would like to cash in on but I am unsure of myself for lack of knowledge. I read several threads in the forum but remain unsure. I would like to have 50-100 hens laying and I am looking to hatch 1-2 incubators full of chicks a week plus sell some hatching eggs and sell fresh eggs. my incubators come from TSC and are 41 eggs a piece and I am purchasing a turner for them.

Now for the questions:

I go to the nest box and there is an egg. From there I believe I have 2 choices: Take it and wash it for the fridge or put it in the incubator. Is this correct?

I want to sell hatching dozens, These eggs have to be incubated until the customer picks them up correct?

An emergency comes up and I can't collect eggs today. Can I collect the eggs tomorrow and place them in an incubator for hatch?

At what point do I candle the eggs to see if they are "live"?

Really looking forward to this. I am trying to become a reputable source for Black Copper Marans and Blue Copper Marans.

Thank you.
first of all - they DO NOT need to be incubated until pick up. They can remain at room temperature (or frigerated - that is a differing topic, from my little experience, I have seen fertility both ways). If you incubate them, they start growing all at different rates. You want to keep the embryo at stasis (by NOT incubating) until your client is ready to.

Next, you don't have to collect them every day, but the concern will be eggs cracking and what your hens will do if the nest box is full. Once an egg cracks and a chicken eats it, they are likely to intentionally crack more. It is in the best interest to collect eggs regularly.

You candle at days 7, 10, 14 and finally at 18. You can't really be 100% sure of viability at either days. It depends on the egg (white or tinted) and how tuned your eye is to development. If you are not planning on doing the incubation and just selling the eggs, then you don't have to worry about it anyhow.

I would do a few tests of your own so you know the process of incubation and what to look for. Especially with Marans, their eggs are EXTREMELY dark and being able to indicate viability and embryo growth is going to be very difficult.

If your hens are only now being fertilized, you will need to wait a while until the eggs fertility is strong enough to be viable embryo
I have no chickens yet, just gathering info before I start this deal. Would you recommend two runs and a broiler house? (One for "standard" marans, one for culls of the standard and general layers for consumption, and a broiler house for the roosters of the hatch)

So, I collect eggs and store them in egg cartons at room temp for the hatching dozens then? How long can the be "stasis" before the eggs spoils for hatching? Is this recommended for me as well( get a full incubator before I put them in the incubator)?
I think the general rule for at room temperature is 7-10 days (the longer the less viability) be sure to store them with the smaller end down (that will help the air sac develop at the top of the egg in the right place). If you keep them in the fridge, viability can last up to 2 week (further some say) - i have a set that were in the fridge for 5 days and all but one is developing.

I would recommend getting a full incubator first. I don't know how right this is. I have two set in the same incubator and when it comes for one set to go into "lockdown" i will but them in a hatching box. That is probably not the right way, either have a full set (or however many you want in that set) and have a different one for each set. This is honestly my first incubation. I am just repeating information.

As far as the runs, I'm not sure about that, a veteran will have to help you. All mine are free-range and their offspring are virtually mutts. I usually like to have a hybrid of a barred rock so that I can differentiate sex when they hatch.

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