New to chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MelissaSexton, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. MelissaSexton

    MelissaSexton New Egg

    Aug 18, 2014
    Tillamook, Or.
    Hello All, I have much animal experience but am new to chickens. I was in 4-H and FFA from 3rd-12th grade with Jersey's and Pygmy goats, I also went to open shows. I currently have 2 rescue alpaca's and 2 rescue miniature horses. I have also ran the foster-adoption-rescue program for my local Non-profit cat rescue for about 10 years. I thought chickens would be easy and they have been quite the challenge! I have many questions despite my research. My current challenge is my black Frizzle hen. I had thought she was taken by a predator during the day (the flock is free range during the day and locked in at dusk). She was missing for 2 weeks so I gave up hope. I searched all over our 3 acres for her. I found her 3 days ago nested on 6 eggs between my hay bales in the barn. I am not sure how long she has been nesting but I am guessing since the day she went missing. The dilemma is: My rooster (game bantam-cochin) is only 6 months old. He started crowing a month ago. I am not sure if he was fertile before the eggs were laid. I have a couple of new hens that were with a mature rooster so I tucked a couple of their eggs under my broody hen. I am thinking I should candle all the eggs soon? Do I take away the ones that don't look fertilized? I put some food, fresh garden clippings and water near her nest that she never seems to leave. Should I be doing anything else? Advise welcome.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    If she was missing for two weeks, why don't you candle one of the eggs she's been setting on? Just take one from her, and then put it back when you're done if it looks viable.
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    As long as she's in a predator proof place just let her be. Hens come off the nest once a day (sometimes less) to eat, drink and defecate. The rooster is most likely fertile by 5 months so her eggs are probably growing. The problem I see is that you have 6 eggs that are due to hatch in a week and the rest you put under her will have much longer to go. She'll most likely come off the nest when the first ones hatch to care for them, leaving the rest to founder.
  4. MelissaSexton

    MelissaSexton New Egg

    Aug 18, 2014
    Tillamook, Or.
    I guess I better go candle some eggs. Do I just remove the old ones that don't look fertilized ( or failed)
    and throw them away?
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You can't tell an egg is fertile by candling but you can see growth inside the egg. So I would candle each of them, (one or two at a time and mark them)...the newer ones should probably be removed as she will stop setting once the others hatch, and pitch any eggs that have not developed.

    Good luck with your broody and welcome to our flock!
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X3, I would candle the older eggs and see what they look like, if they are infertile/ not developing at this point just toss them and leave her the newer eggs.
    If the older eggs are developing then you have a decision to make since as Chicken Canoe pointed out the hen will leave the nest with the first set of chicks when they hatch. You can either put the younger eggs in an incubator or under another broody to hatch if you want to save them.
    Not sure if you have seen them, but there are some nice candling articles in the Learning Center, depending on the color of the egg and what you are using to candle you can usually see if they are developing by day 4-5 pretty well, though the older they are the easier it is
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. X3 on candling the older eggs. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your hatch.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    If your hen seems especially thin, make sure she gets some extras added before bedtime. Some broodies will literally starve themselves too death rather than leave their eggs. If she has been staying near the eggs you would have found some awful stinky big broody poops around. Unless she hasn't been eating enough to produce them.
  10. MelissaSexton

    MelissaSexton New Egg

    Aug 18, 2014
    Tillamook, Or.
    Another question...I had read that the hen will keep laying until she is happy with the amount of eggs and then start sitting on them. She was sitting for several days and when I went to candle the eggs I noticed that she had layed 2 more. What does this mean? Also, I have to throw away the eggs that are not fertile that she has been sitting on right? They are not safe to eat?

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