Reproduction without human intervention?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MrsLahman, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. MrsLahman

    MrsLahman Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    Lachine, MI
    I want a 'self seficient' flock that can breed with minimal help from me. Im not sure how this works, I just got my first batch of chickens this year. I have atleast one rooster (only plan on keeping one anyway) so if i were to just leave the eggs in the coop, the rooster and hen should do their jobs right? do they need a seperate shelter? (the hen does to brood right?) it takes 21 days to hatch then the hen still keeps them warm or do i need a heat lamp? do the only breed in warm weather? how often does one hen brood a batch of babies? I want a purebred flock for meat and eggs instead of commercial broilers that only hang around for 6 weeks.. anything else a newbie should know?

    FYI: I live in NE Michigan with 3 Giant Jerseys(st run) and 3 RI red hens <3
     
  2. Peterh005

    Peterh005 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Adare, Ireland
    The hens will lay their eggs everyday in the nest boxes, you should collect them and when you want a broody hen simply leave a clutch of about 12 eggs in one of the nestboxes. 1 of the hens will decide to go broody and when she does i recommend seperating her in a smaller safe coop or whatever :) In 3 weeks the eggs will hatch and the broody hen will look after the chicks till theyre old enough to look afetr themselves.
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Broodiness is a instinct behavior and very hard to control. You can't just decide you want your hen to go broody and have it happen. Some breeds tend to be broody much more than others. Silkies and cochins are known as some of the broodiest. If you are interested in natural breeding you might want to add a few cochins to your flock. Otherwise it is sort of luck of the draw if you end up with a good brooder and good mother hen.

    Safe up fertile eggs and if/when your hen goes broody give them to her to hatch. If she is a good mom they can just stay with her. Make sure you are not feeding layer feed when the young birds are in the coop. It is bad for them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  4. Peterh005

    Peterh005 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Adare, Ireland
    Jersey giants and rhode island reds are good broodys so if you leave a large enough clutch of eggs (over 12) they should naturally go broody. Also remember they will only really go broody in Spring/Summer :)
     
  5. MrsLahman

    MrsLahman Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2013
    Lachine, MI
    thank you all for the info!! anything about the rooster i need to know thou? Now I feel more confident I have a goal now instead of just 'winging' it. lol
     

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