Question about checking fertility

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PattiS72, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. PattiS72

    PattiS72 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's been awhile since I've posted here (at least a year or two). But I have a new flock of chickens--4 leghorns in one coop (they were with the other smaller chickens but were bullying them). Two are hens, two are roosters. In the other coop, we are supposed to have two roosters and 6 hens--but I think I only have one rooster in there. This is the first time we've had roosters. I am ready to start to see if the hens will sit on eggs. The hens will lay eggs in the same nest as others (there are about 12 nest boxes to choose from, but they usually lay in about 6 of them. I gather eggs twice a day (around 10ish and then again around 4ish). I have gotten as many as 51 eggs a week (I keep track of them every week). So to my question: when I let them sit, should I try and keep the eggs (after getting some for us) that I let them sit on in one box or keep them in the box they are laid in? When should I start candling to see if they are fertile? Thanks.
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    You can pretty much bet that your Leghorns aren't going to be sitting on any eggs, they're bred for production, and broodiness is a trait that has pretty much been bred out of them. Leghorns hatching eggs has happened, but they're not common sitters. If you do have a hen go broody, you can expect she'll do it in the most popular nest box, and she'll probably throw all of your other birds off that like to use that box. You can leave her there, mark the eggs you want hatched with a sharpie and pull out any new eggs each day. Or, you can try moving her to a separate enclosure or cage and hope she continues to brood (some hens aren't phased by being moved, others might freak out for a little while and settle in and some will just quit altogether). If you just switch her to a new nest box, chances are she'll get up and go right back to the one she picked. Another common problem when you leave them in the coop is nest hopping. Its when your hen gets up for her daily break, goes back to the nest boxes and gets on the wrong eggs, leaving the ones she's supposed to be hatching to get cold. You would candle your eggs 7 or so days into incubation, that's when its pretty obvious that there's something going on inside them for folks who are new to looking for developing embryos in eggs.

    Anyway, what breeds are your other birds? Some breeds are much more prone to brooding than others.
     
  3. PattiS72

    PattiS72 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks...the leghorns we aren't going to sit...it's the smaller ones we are wanting to sit. I'm not sure what the smaller ones are, except two are EEs. This isn't a great pic, will see if I can get a better one today.












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  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    They look to be golden laced Wyandottes. Both breeds you have there may sit on eggs for you. You'll just have to wait and see!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. PattiS72

    PattiS72 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just posted pics of coop and chickens in the New Member forum--even though I'm not a new member.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You won't decide who is going to sit...they, or rather their hormones, will decide to sit or not.
    Either a hen goes broody...or not....and they rarely go broody when you want/need them too.
    They are very uncooperative that way, lol!

    ETA: you can check eggs for fertility when you make breakfast.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015

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