Serama laying fertile eggs! Now what?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Silkies~Polishes, May 21, 2012.

  1. Silkies~Polishes

    Silkies~Polishes Chirping

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    so just this weekend I got a serama rooster and 3 hens. One of them laid an egg today, and was laying on it all day and turning it. I was so excited cause I cant wait to hatch my own chicks! Never done it before! Anyway, as I was picking it up(what was I thinking) and turning around to go show it to my mom, I dropped it....[​IMG]oh well, atleast I learned something...........it is 100% fertile!! I then decided to figure out if its fertile, luckily it only had some cracks on the small end. So I cracked it open and compared the blastoderm to some fertile/nonfertile egg pictures, and it is definetly fertile. With the little ring around the dot!!
    [​IMG]
    Can you see it? Sorry its a little hard to see since I had to take the pic with my phone, my good camera's at my other house(were moving). Also I should note that the person I got them from has hatched chicks and currently owns adult babies of these chickens, so that was one thing I was glad about the fact that they were already breeding. Anyways, mostly I'm posting this to see if anyone has advice for me hatching chicks from these guys?
    THEIR CAGE
    I'm going to get some hutchlike cages for them, but for now I have them in an extra guinea pig cage, barred, so lots of air for them! I always raise chicks in these and they are just perfect for them! the cage is 30" by 18", which is bigger than most hutches I've seen seramas in, is this okay for now? like a month or two?
    HATCHING EGGS
    I'm also curious if you hatch chickens, especially you serama breeders out there, what is your setup for hatching chicks? I'm not wanting to hatch very many at a time, probably hatching one batch of chicks from each hen a year, how should I hatch them? Should I just let the hen sit on them, or should I put them in an incubator? I would prefer the hen, just since incubators are like $150 and up if you dont count the itty bitty ones who hatch around 5-8 eggs.
    IF YOU GO THE HEN ROUTE
    Do you store them someplace else until she lays more eggs? I've read to store them at 55-65 degrees F, how can I achieve this without buying anything special? Also, once the eggs are hatched could I take the chicks from the hen?
    Mostly I'd like to know how you hatch chicken eggs and what I should do with my setup
    I can always put the hen in another cage with her chicks so the other ones dont attack them

    Here's one of the hens, is she a "good one"? Good Breeding stock?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    Hi, don't know a thing about Serama's, but I've been keeping chickens for a few years and had many hens hatch chicks, hopefully I can help you a bit.
    First of all, that egg is fertile. Good example! If I want my hens to hatch eggs I "bait" their nest boxes. I leave a few eggs, just 3-4 and mark them with x's so I know which ones are fresh and which are bait. This usually puts ideas in my hen's heads and one of them will go broody and sit on the eggs. (This can take time) Which I replace with fresh ones for hatching. Make sure you pick nice looking, fat, clean eggs. (I once hatched a really long, thin egg and the chick was slightly handicapped.) Don't wash the eggs you want to hatch and make sure they are clean! You can give your hen as many eggs as she can cover comfortably and just leave her to it.

    I have a broody sitting at the moment and she just decided to get up for a little break. Came screaming past me just now. Crazy bird!

    Your set-up for your chickens sounds fine. Just a nest box with some nesting material in it (I use dry grass) will do.
    I get lots of eggs every day as I have about 70 chickens, so I don't store eggs for hatching. But I heard that you should store them on their sides and turn them 3 times a day, minimum. Keep them at room temp.
    Once the eggs hatched (after about 3 weeks - some may hatch sooner, some later) you can put mom and babies in a separate area where she can show them the ropes and after a week or two you can introduce them to the rest of the flock.

    Hope this helped!
     
  3. Silkies~Polishes

    Silkies~Polishes Chirping

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    thank you it did help! Does anybody know how often they lay? One website said only 1 egg a week, which I think is too little, some said everyday or every other day. I got 2 more eggs today with 3 eggs in two days, not sure if every hen has laid, but I'm going to assume its every other day?
    Also, I am still open to anyone else's ideas or info if they have any!
     

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