Researching before I decide to hatch! help please

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Renee572, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Renee572

    Renee572 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so we got 5 chicks back in April, luckily they all turned out to be hens because we can't have roos. Well have grown addicted to my girls and in the future (maybe soon, maybe not) I'd like to incubate some eggs and see what we come out with. But I have questions and want info before I even think about doing it for sure.

    My plan is to make my own incubator, just wondering if people have good experiences with homemade incubators?

    Are their breeds that hatch better outcomes than others? We have a bunch of brown egg layers and we'd love to have white eggs and maybe some blue - green eggs.

    I am planning to try to get some local eggs if we can, I've read that you have to let shipped eggs set for a bit before incubating.. would this be the case with local eggs since there would be some traveling involved?

    I know there is 50/50 chance of hatching pullets and Cockerels so I am planning we'd just cull the roos for chicken dinner but at what age do you wait to do this at and will the roos already be crowing quite a bit at the appropriate age to cull them? I'm afraid we may have irritated neighbors if we end up with several noisy roos.

    Are their places I take the roos to so they can be culled or is it something I'd have to learn to do myself?

    Sorry if these are weird questions but I am still pretty new to chickens. Chicken math is kicking in though and I am so obsessed with the ones we have. I think hatching eggs would be an awesome experience for myself and my kids. Any advice you'd want to offer someone thinking about incubating eggs would be great. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  2. Joshw

    Joshw Out Of The Brooder

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    It is always best to let your eggs sit overnight with the pointed end down, to let the air pocket rise to the top.
    You will get a better hatch. Also if eggs are kept for more than one day you should make sure that the person
    you get them from turns them multiple times a day. This keeps the egg from sticking to the shell.

    If you are wanting to sex them at an early age, you should look into breeds that can be sexed at hatch.
    by certain traits. Or go with a variety of sexlink. Otherwise you will need to learn vent sexing or find someone
    that knows how to do it.
     
  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You are best off butchering yourself simply to keep cost down however if you truly want to hire it out there are places that will do chickens, in my area there is only 1 butcher shop which is certified for poultry and it is about a 2 hour drive so I do it myself. There are people who may come around and do it at your place too if you can find them. Butchering chickens is really quite easy and there are many sources for info online and maybe even some old folks around who have done it and willing to show you.

    There are plenty of people who make incubators I bought a Farm Innovators model and have had decent luck with it I may build a larger cabinet type incubator in the future but for now I found the 90 dollar unit I bought is sufficient for what I need it for.

    I have not found breed to matter in hatch rate, the consistency and accuracy of your incubator and thermometers is a much larger factor along with fertility of course, obviously hens who are not bred by a rooster are not going to have fertile eggs so if you get your eggs from a farmer who has 1 rooster and 50 hens you may have more infertile eggs than a farmer with 2 roosters and 20 hens.

    The traveling involved with driving the eggs from the farm to your home shouldn't bother much, it is nothing compared to what happens to them while being shipped in the mail. Though if you buy eating eggs they will likely have been refrigerated which may cause a reduced hatch rate, and if you tell them of your intent to hatch them so they don't refrigerate and try to turn them and everything for you then they will likely charge more than the 2 or 3 dollars a dozen you will pay for eating eggs.

    With my extra roosters some of them are ready to butcher right about the time they start crowing others take slightly longer to but on a little weight. My last hatch has produced some dandy cockerels and pullets alike, they are mutts and I was not at all impressed with the size of the parent stock from the hatchery but crossing them has certainly introduced some sort of vigor, I hope they lay better than the parents as well.
     
  4. Renee572

    Renee572 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    should they then be incubated standing up pointy side down or could I have them laying on their side?

    What are breeds that can be set linked?
     
  5. Renee572

    Renee572 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    about what age do they start crowing? And what size is a good size for making them chicken dinner?
     
  6. Joshw

    Joshw Out Of The Brooder

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    You can hatch them laying on their side, that is how they use to hatch eggs. but you need to mark one side of the egg
    and roll them over several times a day. Unless you have a lot of free time you are better off setting up an incubator with
    an automatic turner. I have GQF incubators and the eggs go in standing up and the incubator keeps them at about a 50
    degree angle and moves them from side to side every 2 hours. This makes it so I don't have to turn eggs manually which
    can get pretty time consuming if you are doing a lot of eggs.

    There are a lot different sex links to choose from, and I don't know them all. Here is a thread you might find interesting.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...d-to-produce-sex-linked-or-auto-sexing-traits
     
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mine are 20 weeks now and they been crowing for a couple weeks though some breeds will cross earlier I have a silver spangled Hamburg that is considerably younger and began crowing at the same age.I have never weighed them simply because I am well aware that layer breeds won't get really heavy anyways so I just go by how they look. You can easily tell a rooster that has plumped up some from a tall gangly one who hasn't put on any weight
     

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