QUESTIONS on BREEDING chickens and hatching eggs.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Roxannemc, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have incubated hatching eggs both shipped and local.Now my own hens are about ready to lay..and roos are looking grown & starting to chase the girls... ...
    Mine are mostly 16 weeks old now but i am totally ignorant about breeding
    Questions.

    Once my girls are laying ...how long before i should try and incubate some to assure getting healthy chicks ans assure they are fertile or do i have to wait at all?

    Will there be one main roo who mates the girls if i have more than one roo in a pen?
    Or does only the Alpha male cover them?

    Will my roos get along once the girls lay or will i have to take one out?

    I moved 2 roos along with 2 hens from a larger pen where there were 5 other hens and another younger roo....

    Every since i moved them the main roo (who was moved) has crowed almost continuously all day everyday for thre last 4 or 5 days.
    Is it because i moved him away from the other hens or is it the new pen he isnt used to or is he trying to keep being the "main man" for ALL the hens in both pens by crowing his orders to all?

    When is a hen concidered broody?

    One of mine sits on the eggs for a while but then leaves. If i reach in she doesnt growl or act threatening so is she broody or is this somewhat normal to sit on an egg for a while. then leave and not true broody?Shes a Buff Orp

    These are my questions for now but i probably have more.
    Any help will be appreciated....and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It is better to wait for your hens to lay "proper" eggs before incubating them. Pullet eggs tend to be small = small chicks. Also some pullets lay strange eggs in the first few weeks, eggs with no yolks or double yolks. Most hens will have their eggs sorted within a month though.

    The main or alpha male will cover most if not all the hens in the pen, but the others will take a chance too if they can. So you will very likely end up with chicks from all the different roosters in the pen.

    They will probably start fighting once they are old enough to understand what hens are for and their own masculinity (and hormones) kicks in. You may need to take one out if there are not enough hens to keep them all happy. This would depend on the size of your pen and the number of hens and roosters.

    Your roo could be crowing for all the reasons you listed. It's hard to tell what's going on in their heads LOL

    She'll stay in the nest box, sleep in the nest box, steal other hens' eggs to sit on, puff herself up and screech when you disturb her and may get very aggressive.

    Hens sometimes like to sit on their eggs for a bit after laying. Enjoying the fruits of their labour? LOL

    And Merry Christmas to you too [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  3. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for all the info i needed Sumi.I will wait to hatch them until time has past.


    One other thing..
    My other 2 breeds of chickens started to lay a few month ago... Their shells are really hard..I have dropped them on the ground and they dont break.
    .I am really worried these will be too and the chicks will have trouble hatching .What can i do to make them less hard and why are they so hard.?
    The eggs inside are perfect.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    My hens free ranged and their egg shells were quite tough too. The chicks didn't have a problem getting out of there. They have a special little "egg tooth" on top of their beaks for when they hatch. This handy little tool helps them break through the shell.
     
  5. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GOOD to know!.... I am relieved.And they arent impervious!...just had the door slam on me as i came in and 2 broke in my pocket!!!!! GUUHHKnew that would happne some day..
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

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