The most exciting day but HELP !!! ;)

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Spongegirl, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok, I know I know, I should not be asking at this stage of this game but here we are...I'm new to chickens.

    I have a flock of 2 roos and 5 hens. The are all about 9 months old...ish... the roos are a silkie and a frizzle cochin. The hens are all silkies.
    I thought the other day I noticed a hen lagging to come out of the coop and thought "I wonder" but quickly put off looking for a nest for another day. Then I noticed some love happening :) yesterday and decided to look under the coop A" frame roof for eggs after a hen was late for food. Sure enough! 7 eggs! omg! so...now what?

    questions: I will look for the answers but I thought I might get some definates on this.

    Is there a chance that the eggs will hatch? if I make sure what conditions are met?
    Do I separate the flock or is that too stressful?
    Also, I need both roosters so is now the time to separate them too? I don't want the dominate one to kill the other.
    Should I just leave them alone?
    When hens first start laying what are the embryos chances of making it?

    It has been so cold and there has been a heat lamp pointing toward the coop opening. the eggs are near there. I haven't touched them yet but the hens don't know what they are doing. I'm in Kentucky, for a few days days have been 45 and 50 degrees. At night they have probably been sitting on them.

    I thought of taking the dog crate all wire, and put on porch with the heat lamp and covering it all around with plastic to hold in heat and humidity and putting all the hens to nest those eggs. What am I doing here folks? Please help me! and thank you for reading my ridiculous post :)
     
  2. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going to candle a couple of eggs and go from there.
     
  3. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok...10 eggs. at the other end of the coop is a nice nest with 3. It's cold out. Like 50. The two I looked at had the air sac and I saw a yolk. The heat need to be more concentrated or they wont stay warm so the coop wont work. I'm going to take the dog crate. put the heat lamp and make a nice nest for 2 silkies. Ill cover the cage all around and put gallons of water for humidity. This will be on the porch just outside the kitchen window. I don't know what else to do. I have to try something. I can hang the food so maybe the will stay put. You think this will be stressful for them?
     
  4. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's not going to work. im putting the heat lamp all the way in the roof top and leaving nature alone. I'll read up.
     
  5. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so you have 10 eggs, 5 hens, they have been laying eggs for 2 maybe 3 days I would guess. Generally, it is not recommended to try and hatch from the first eggs a pullet lays. Some folks wait until they lay for a couple weeks, some wait 6 mos, one person waited until the hen was 18mos before they considered the eggs "good" for hatching. The first few eggs a pullet produces can be wonky and weird, often her cycle takes a little bit to get in a good rhythm and creating uniform eggs. Also when they are very small, they can produce small chicks.

    If it were me, I think I would wait at least a couple weeks before setting pullet eggs.

    Is there a chance that the eggs will hatch? if I make sure what conditions are met?
    I think your roo is also the same age? So not sure if he is fertilizing all hens yet. You could crack one open in a bowl to look for the bullseye, that is how you will know for sure if they were fertile. Remember at first he might not have covered every single hen.

    Do I separate the flock or is that too stressful?
    If you plan to hatch with a broody hen, it is a good idea to separate her while she sits on her clutch. I'm not sure if this is what you meant? :)

    Also, I need both roosters so is now the time to separate them too? I don't want the dominate one to kill the other.
    I wouldn't separate them if they get along. You might want to separate them if you only want chicks from 1 roo? In my experience, 1 roo can fertilize 1 hen's eggs for 14 days after she is removed from him, so removing him won't immediately remove his fertile eggs.
     
  6. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All eggs will have an air bubble at the top, even the ones from the grocery store :) the size of the air bubble indicates how old it is. it's very small when first laid, and as you incubate, the air bubble grows larger as the egg evaporates.

    If you have broody hens, she will be able to keep those eggs nice and toasty without a heat lamp! She doesn't need your help with humidity either, her body is the perfect incubator :) You can make her a private nest if you want to encourage her, but you can't force her to go broody (you didnt mention if she is broody or not).

    It's not natural for her to just become broody because there is an egg there. It is a hormonal cycle she goes through, I think of it like a woman's cycle. When the hormones tell her it is time, she will go broody and there is no stopping her. Until then, she probably won't sit on the eggs beyond laying her own egg.
     
  7. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So here is what I would do. I would open the eggs you have and check fertility.

    I would wait 14 days from the first egg (I think they started laying 2 days ago) so +12 days from now before trying to keep any of the pullet eggs for incubation/hatching.

    Then, I would begin collecting eggs and I would bring them inside and store them at room temperature (65F 50%) on my counter. Prop 1 side of the egg carton up on 1 side to tilt all the eggs at once, do this 2-3x/day while they are being stored. You can store eggs for up to 10 days before they lose viability for hatching. Write the date on them with a pencil.

    The purpose of storing them is so they hatch at the same time. If you have chicks hatching days apart, the mother hen may reject the chicks, or even get off the nest after the first few hatch. You want to try and start them all together.

    Then, you should have a nice stockpile of eggs. Perhaps in about 3 weeks, one of your hens might feel broody feelings. It seems like a 3 week cycle to me.
    But maybe not. You might have to buy an incubator. Or, wait longer, since you have silkies they will for sure go broody at some point. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  8. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK THANK YOU!!!!! Very helpful advice. I put everything back in order. The hens are sitting a little, but I wouldn't call it broody which is more like sitting continually, right? I've got a lot of reading to do.

    I have had a heat lamp in the coop because it has been single digit temps.

    This is fun. I've tried and tried at this hobby for 3 years and I'm just now getting it right. I've never made it to eggs so I'm so happy!

    I should probably go reintroduce myself in the intro thread ;)
     
  9. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm going to do just like you said and collect them to hatch in an incubator. Sounds fun. It's hard to cull but I guess I could cook those eggs and feed it back to them as a "thanks lets get this going" thing. if I crack open an egg and there is an eye, how can I crack the rest. oh my. :)
     
  10. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is how to tell fertile vs non fertile when you crack the egg open:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures

    when a hen goes broody, she will stay in the nest on some eggs and she will not want you to reach in or touch her, if you do she will puff up and make funny sounds different than normal.
    this lady shows a broody around 1:50
    another broody video these broodys are nice, some broodys will peck you if you get too close. they are protective
     

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