Questions about hatching eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickenchok, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. chickenchok

    chickenchok Chillin' With My Peeps

    110
    0
    119
    Sep 6, 2008
    North Carolina
    1. I have a 5 month old roo who has begun mating the hens... is it too early for the eggs to be fertile yet?

    2. I have a broody hen, so I want to leave some (hopefully fertile) eggs under her and try to let her hatch them out and raise them naturally. Can I add eggs for 2 or 3 days to the ones she's sitting on... and will she keep sitting till they all hatch?

    3. She's in a raised nesting box... do I need to move her to ground level? If so, how soon do I move her?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,776
    4,396
    536
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    1. I have a 5 month old roo who has begun mating the hens... is it too early for the eggs to be fertile yet?

    A rooster this age can fertilize eggs if the hens will let him. I have had 15 week old roosters fertilizing eggs. How old are your hens? Those small pullet eggs are not good to hatch. They are just not big enough to hold all the nutrients the chick needs to develop right. If they do manage to get enough nutrients to develop, those small pullet eggs don't give them much room to pip and zip. The egg is just too small. It is possible some small pullet eggs will hatch, but it is better to wait a few months until the eggs get bigger.

    2. I have a broody hen, so I want to leave some (hopefully fertile) eggs under her and try to let her hatch them out and raise them naturally. Can I add eggs for 2 or 3 days to the ones she's sitting on... and will she keep sitting till they all hatch?

    It is best by far to give her all the eggs you want her to hatch at the same time. She will leave the nest with the first chicks that hatch when they need food and water. Any eggs that have not hatched will die. Might I suggest you read this thread. It has info in it that might help you.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

    3. She's in a raised nesting box... do I need to move her to ground level? If so, how soon do I move her?

    I've seen hens get chicks out of a ten foot high hay loft with none of the chicks getting hurt. Ten feet is not something I would recommend but having the nest a bit off the ground is not something I worry about too much. If it is less than two or three feet, I think you will be fine.

    What I suggest is moving her to a pen where you can lock her in and lock the rest of the flock out. Make sure it is predator proof. Hopefully you can fix up something in the coop so she stays a part of the flock and yet they cannot mess with her. Give her a nest, preferably kind of dark. The nest being fairly dark seems to calm them a bit. Put feed and water in the pen with her. She needs enough room to go poo without messing up her nest or the food and water, but not much more room than that. She might quit being broody when you move her. That is always a risk. if you decide to leave her in the nest she is in, mark the eggs so you know which ones you want her to hatch and remove any other eggs daily. Sometimes the other hens will lay in her nest.

    Good luck!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by