To breed or buy?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MelissaZeno, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. MelissaZeno

    MelissaZeno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 10 hens and 1 rooster. I am thinking of next spring, I know that my chickens will be able to raise their own chicks, and I have a plan for any roosters that hatches. I am worried about how many chicks we may get this is my very first flock and I don't know what to expect for the number of chicks that could hatch. Also there are other breeds of chickens I would like to get so I was thinking of buying fertilized eggs to put under my hens when they go broody, 7 of them are 10 months old. Is there any problem adding bought fertilized eggs into a nest that already has a broody with eggs?
     
  2. collingwood

    collingwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    No I don't think there is any problem with adding eggs but be careful that you don't give her too many because you don't want just one hen sitting on twenty chicks when they hatch!
     
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  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    There will be no concern on the number of chicks if you control the number of eggs that the hens are allowed to incubate. Collect eggs daily and add whatever you want hatched to the nest once a hen goes broody - this can be either your eggs or purchased fertile eggs. Do not add eggs during the course of the incubation. Staggered hatches are generally a disaster.
     
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  4. MelissaZeno

    MelissaZeno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. Just what I wanted and needed to know thank you.
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Set all the eggs at once and mark all the eggs, so that you recognize any other eggs. A large hen can do a dozen, but Orcharid on here, recommended 8, and really I get a better hatch rate with 8.

    However, if you want more chicks or different kinds of chicks, you can order live chicks to be the same age as the ones you hatch, but they must come within a day of hatching, then slip the chicks under her just after yours hatch, a hen can't count and she can successfully raise more than she can hatch.

    The trick is both the chicks and hen must be fresh, and the chicks cannot be bigger or smaller than the other set.

    Mrs K
     

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