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Newbie with an egg laying (fertile/infertile) question.....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by craftymomto5, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. craftymomto5

    craftymomto5 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new here and new to raising chickens. I was given 4 1 yr old hens and 1 rooster. The rooster is a partridge rock and the hens are sussex, buff orpington, americana and I can't remember the other off the top of my head. Anyway the poor girl's backs are featherless which I know is from the rooster. They are laying eggs everyday but they do not sit on them at all. They lay them and then leave the nest. I was under the impression that if there was a chance that they were fertile they wouldn't want to leave the nest. Am I wrong in assuming that? How do I know if they are or aren't? Do I leave them in there and hope that they are? If so how long before I would know? I thought I read somewhere where it takes up to a week before you can really tell. I would greatly appreciate any information you could give me. I would love some baby chicks but I don't want my girls to lose too many more feathers since the colder weather is right around the corner. Thanks.....Debby:)
    Oh one more question. How long are eggs allowed to be left out before they become bad and unable to be eaten?
     
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    Hens will fill a nest full of eggs and then she will sit on it, IF one of them decides she wants to hatch them. With those breeds you would htink one would go 'broody'. I suggest you color some of the eggs or get wooden eggs and leave them in the nest. Then, save the newly laid eggs in a carton and store them at a 45 degree angle turning 3 times a day to opposite 45 degrees. A cool place, I think 65* would be best. When or if a hen goes broody wait a couple days to see if she is seriose and then put the freshest eggs under her at night, taking away the 'dummy' eggs. Make sure she is in a private spot away from the others. And feed her well.


    ETA: I would suspect the Orpington or the Sussex would go broody.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  3. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    signs of broodiness: soft clucking and staying on the nest. When you go near her, screaching and fluffing feathers out. Getting off the nest only once a day and walking stiff legged clucking and having feathers all fluffed out and wings out a ways from the body and taking one massive and stinky poop a day.
     
  4. craftymomto5

    craftymomto5 Out Of The Brooder

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    :)Thanks! I was reading somewhere where it would be okay to keep them in the refridgerator til you put them back on the nest. Is that correct? I don't have an incubator in case one of the hens wouldn't return to the nest. That raises another question. I have their nests in the cage where they sleep . Should I have them somewhere else since a sitting hen wouldn't have any privacy? Thanks again for your reply!
     
  5. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    No do not keep them in the refridgerator. You should get a separate kennel for a broody hen to be in when she is sitting ong eggs. Away from the others all together.
     

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