Newbie needs help. Going to incubate fertile eggs hatched by my RIR


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 31, 2009
San Jose, CA
Hi there, looking for lots of advice here! I have two 10 mo RIRs who started laying eggs last saturday. Ironically that was the day we re-home our RIR roo. I understand that sperm stays in the hen for 30 days, can anyone verify that? So I think there is a chance that for the next month or so, we may be able to hatch some eggs : )

The chickens have been laying 1 to 2 eggs a day since. They totally ignore them during the day but I have been hoping they were waiting for a clutch and would sit on them once the number of eggs grew. It has been about a week, there are now 13 eggs, but I am not having any brooding luck. The are sitting on some of the eggs, but only at night. They are also burying some of them. Is that because they are reject eggs, or because that is a way of preserving the egg until they are ready to sit on all of them?

Just now I went out to mark the eggs as I have an incubator coming in a day or two and one of the hens was sitting on about half of the eggs. I marked all the eggs they had rolled over to the side or actually buried so I had to dig around for them and then I grabbed one right by the hens that was actually warm. When I put it down she quick tried to roll it up underneath her so I decided to leave the rest of the ones by and under her alone. The other hen was not sitting on any eggs at all, was just nestled next to the hen who was sitting on the eggs.

I decided to pull a few eggs out that were cold and being ignored by the hen to see if they were fertilized, 3 for 3 (I think!). So I am going to definitely incubate some when I get the incubator. I think I am getting a candler too, so that will be an extra help. If the hens are not laying on the eggs during the day, should I leave them in the coop til I get the incubator? Or pull them out and do something else with them for the next 24 to 48 hours? And how should I be marking them, by the date they were laid?

What else should I be asking that I have not thought of? I really really want to get some chicks from this batch of eggs as the Roo we had (and had to get rid of) was so special to all of us, particularly my children/son. I would love to keep a few of his offspring. The kids are hoping for the same. Any advice, warning, or maybe just some prayers, please : )

Thanks for your time and any help you can offer. What I would do with you all????

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