Wanting to raise my chickens to sell fertile eggs

kambrose

Chirping
Apr 15, 2015
144
9
68
Southern Utah
when do they start the mating process?

How do you keep getting eggs to send off to those who want hatching eggs?

How do u know they are fertile? Are they always fertile as long as a rooster is in the pen?

Can u have fertile eggs all year long?

Do you grab these fertile eggs every morning or wait until she has two or 3 to start collecting?

Thank you!
I know I have a lot of questions here. I just got baby chicks and am wanting to eventually sell hatching eggs to people.
:)
 

BayBay Peepers

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
5,156
1,126
338
Wisconsin
You would like to think they're fertile if there is a rooster present. You can check a few by cracking them open. You should see a bullseye in the yolk.

I would collect daily and try not to keep them stored over a week before you hand them off. Also try to keep the carton tilted a bit and move it about so the yolk doesn't settle in one place.

Try to choose good shaped eggs that are larger. Using a pullets first eggs that are usually smaller can result in an unsatisfactory hatch.

What will be your ratio of hens to roosters?

Our eggs tend to be better quality in spring, summer, and fall. The winter eggs just aren't as tough. I would never consider using those ones.
 

kambrose

Chirping
Apr 15, 2015
144
9
68
Southern Utah
That was very helpful thank you!

I am actually not sure on the rooster thing either. Is it like one rooster to 5-6 hens?

I have rare breeds I want to collect over the rest of the year and my husband is going to make separate coops with stalls for them as well so my breeds can be true.

How old is a good age hen to lay quality hatching eggs?

Thanks!!
 

kambrose

Chirping
Apr 15, 2015
144
9
68
Southern Utah
Also, once I see the bullseye in the yolk does that mean I'm good to start selling?
Can they just stop mating during the year?
I'm worried I'll sell in fertile eggs. Do I just keep checking throughout the year?

When they mate, is that fertilizing just one egg? Or will it last for a few eggs?

ThNks!
 

BayBay Peepers

Crowing
6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
5,156
1,126
338
Wisconsin
When mating it can last up to a few weeks. The ratio you have will probably work very well for you. I would wait until they're a year. You'll see how small a pullet egg can be and you can judge from there. Later on when I collect I can try to show you the size difference we have.
Mine mate all year, but like I said before I don't keep the winter eggs for anything, but breakfast.

I hope some people from different climates can chime in. I'm sure it all depends on where you live or what kind of seasonal set ups you'll have.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,579
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I think you need to do a lot more research and hands-on chicken raising before you will be ready to offer hatching eggs to the public. You will have some pretty stiff competition from folks who have spent years developing some good breeding stock, understanding chicken anatomy, and the entire reproductive process. There are some bio-security issues you need to think about - disease control, parasite prevention, and so on. So relax, don't be in such a hurry to make a few dollars from your chickens!

You've got new chicks coming and that's an exciting and fun time! Try not to clutter up this first experience with the logistics of selling hatching eggs to others. Just enjoy them, learn how to raise them, and how to select the best from your stock when the time comes and you are ready to offer eggs.

I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear, and I'm am sorry if it irritates you. But if you'll take your time, learn from your chickens and from your peers, before long your name will be one of the first names mentioned when someone asks where to get healthy, fertile hatching eggs.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,288
20,129
907
Southeast Louisiana
A good part of these answers will be “it depends”. You are dealing with living animals. They don’t read calendars or come with guarantees.

when do they start the mating process?

Just like people, chickens mature at different rates. The cockerels normally mature before the pullets and usually want to start earlier. I’ve seen some cockerels want to start mating at 12 weeks, some not that interested until after 6 or 7 months. Around 4 months is a good average but the individuals can be about anywhere. It can make a difference too if there is a more mature rooster in the flock.

Pullets generally have no interest until they start laying eggs. I’ve had some start laying eggs at 16 weeks, some wait until 9 months. Around 5 to 6 months is pretty normal but again it can really vary. Even after they start laying the pullets may want a more mature partner, one that acts the way a rooster should. A good rooster should dance for his ladies, find them food, keep peace in his flock, and watch out for danger. Many cockerels just aren’t mature enough to do this so they get little respect from the females. Adolescence can get really rough down in the coop and run but once they mature it usually settles down a lot.

How do you keep getting eggs to send off to those who want hatching eggs?

You might read this article. It has a really good section on how to store eggs for incubation. Some of this is way over the top for what most of us do but it gives you a good starting place.

Texas A&M Incubation site
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/...e-Cartwright-Incubating-and-hatching-eggs.pdf

How do u know they are fertile? Are they always fertile as long as a rooster is in the pen?

This thread has photos of the bull’s eye. If the ones you crack have it, the ones that you don’t crack probably do too.


https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures.

It takes an egg about 25 hours to go through a hen’s internal egg factory. The egg can only be fertilized during the first few minutes of that journey. That means if a mating takes place on a Sunday, Sunday’s egg is not fertile. Monday’s egg might or might not be, it depends on when the mating took place and when the egg started its journey. Tuesday’s egg will be fertile.

A rooster does not mate with every hen in the flock every day. He doesn’t have to. The last part of the mating act is that after the rooster hops off the hen fluffs up and gives a shake. This fluffy shake gets the sperm in a special container in her body. It can stay viable in there for anywhere from 9 days to more than 3 weeks. Most of us count on the hen laying fertile eggs for about two weeks after a mating.

Can u have fertile eggs all year long?

Yes you can. I’ve hatched eggs from late January-early February and had a real good hatch rate. Some people say they have seen a rooster’s fertility drop when he is molting but I had different results. Others have lower fertility or poorer quality eggs in the winter. Each chicken is an individual and each flock has its own dynamics. They don’t come with guarantees.

Do you grab these fertile eggs every morning or wait until she has two or 3 to start collecting?

Collect the eggs every day and store them in the best circumstances you can. One thing that can (not necessarily will but can) lessen egg viability is going through warming up and cooling off cycles. Try to keep them at as constant a temperature as you reasonably can. Another reason I don’t like leaving eggs in the coop overnight is that it can attract predators, like snakes.

How many hens can a rooster keep fertile? It depends. A young vigorous rooster with a cooperative flock of hens can keep 20 or more fertile. A less active rooster may have trouble keeping 5 hens fertile. Each flock has its own dynamics. There is no magic number that works for every flock in the world.

You can hatch pullet eggs. Some people get really good hatches with them. But my experience with pullet eggs is that the hatch rate is generally not as good with pullet eggs as with larger eggs. Creating an egg is pretty complicated. A lot of things have to go together right for an egg to hatch. Amazingly most pullets get it right the first time but some can take weeks to get all the glitches out of their system.

Another problem is that pullet eggs are small. There is not enough room or nutrients in there for the developing chick to grow very big. Most of the chicks I hatch do fine, but I find that if a chick dies soon after hatch the odds are pretty good it came from a small pullet egg. I still hatch pullet eggs and normally get a decent hatch and survival rate out of them, but they are harder. The longer a pullet lays the larger the eggs get and the better chance the chick has of hatching and surviving. I don’t have a magic age for that, but I find waiting just two or three months after they start laying makes a world of difference. Some people that sell hatching eggs incubate some themselves to see how well they hatch and survive.

I agree with Blooie on getting some experience first. There is a lot I can't cover. But maybe this will help you get a start.

Good luck!
 

kambrose

Chirping
Apr 15, 2015
144
9
68
Southern Utah
A good part of these answers will be “it depends”. You are dealing with living animals. They don’t read calendars or come with guarantees.

when do they start the mating process?

Just like people, chickens mature at different rates. The cockerels normally mature before the pullets and usually want to start earlier. I’ve seen some cockerels want to start mating at 12 weeks, some not that interested until after 6 or 7 months. Around 4 months is a good average but the individuals can be about anywhere. It can make a difference too if there is a more mature rooster in the flock.

Pullets generally have no interest until they start laying eggs. I’ve had some start laying eggs at 16 weeks, some wait until 9 months. Around 5 to 6 months is pretty normal but again it can really vary. Even after they start laying the pullets may want a more mature partner, one that acts the way a rooster should. A good rooster should dance for his ladies, find them food, keep peace in his flock, and watch out for danger. Many cockerels just aren’t mature enough to do this so they get little respect from the females. Adolescence can get really rough down in the coop and run but once they mature it usually settles down a lot.

How do you keep getting eggs to send off to those who want hatching eggs?

You might read this article. It has a really good section on how to store eggs for incubation. Some of this is way over the top for what most of us do but it gives you a good starting place.

Texas A&M Incubation site
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/...e-Cartwright-Incubating-and-hatching-eggs.pdf

How do u know they are fertile? Are they always fertile as long as a rooster is in the pen?

This thread has photos of the bull’s eye. If the ones you crack have it, the ones that you don’t crack probably do too.


https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures.

It takes an egg about 25 hours to go through a hen’s internal egg factory. The egg can only be fertilized during the first few minutes of that journey. That means if a mating takes place on a Sunday, Sunday’s egg is not fertile. Monday’s egg might or might not be, it depends on when the mating took place and when the egg started its journey. Tuesday’s egg will be fertile.

A rooster does not mate with every hen in the flock every day. He doesn’t have to. The last part of the mating act is that after the rooster hops off the hen fluffs up and gives a shake. This fluffy shake gets the sperm in a special container in her body. It can stay viable in there for anywhere from 9 days to more than 3 weeks. Most of us count on the hen laying fertile eggs for about two weeks after a mating.

Can u have fertile eggs all year long?

Yes you can. I’ve hatched eggs from late January-early February and had a real good hatch rate. Some people say they have seen a rooster’s fertility drop when he is molting but I had different results. Others have lower fertility or poorer quality eggs in the winter. Each chicken is an individual and each flock has its own dynamics. They don’t come with guarantees.

Do you grab these fertile eggs every morning or wait until she has two or 3 to start collecting?

Collect the eggs every day and store them in the best circumstances you can. One thing that can (not necessarily will but can) lessen egg viability is going through warming up and cooling off cycles. Try to keep them at as constant a temperature as you reasonably can. Another reason I don’t like leaving eggs in the coop overnight is that it can attract predators, like snakes.

How many hens can a rooster keep fertile? It depends. A young vigorous rooster with a cooperative flock of hens can keep 20 or more fertile. A less active rooster may have trouble keeping 5 hens fertile. Each flock has its own dynamics. There is no magic number that works for every flock in the world.

You can hatch pullet eggs. Some people get really good hatches with them. But my experience with pullet eggs is that the hatch rate is generally not as good with pullet eggs as with larger eggs. Creating an egg is pretty complicated. A lot of things have to go together right for an egg to hatch. Amazingly most pullets get it right the first time but some can take weeks to get all the glitches out of their system.

Another problem is that pullet eggs are small. There is not enough room or nutrients in there for the developing chick to grow very big. Most of the chicks I hatch do fine, but I find that if a chick dies soon after hatch the odds are pretty good it came from a small pullet egg. I still hatch pullet eggs and normally get a decent hatch and survival rate out of them, but they are harder. The longer a pullet lays the larger the eggs get and the better chance the chick has of hatching and surviving. I don’t have a magic age for that, but I find waiting just two or three months after they start laying makes a world of difference. Some people that sell hatching eggs incubate some themselves to see how well they hatch and survive.

I agree with Blooie on getting some experience first. There is a lot I can't cover. But maybe this will help you get a start.

Good luck!

Thank you Bay Bay Peepers and Bloopie for your knowledge and advice.
And thank you Ridge Runner for ALL this wonderful information you provided me and your knowledge and experience as well!

I am excited to learn more and get into this type of business. I know for newbies like myself it can be a long learning curve to figure all this out. I am confident I can learn quickly.

I have some family who have chickens but I am wanting to do something different.
I want to have an actual business which I'm sure it will take a couple of years for me to get started. I want to do farmer markets too.
I am good with gardening and horses but a learning curve with this.

I am wanting rare heritage breeds like dorkings, Langshan, brahamas, ect.. And notice they are extremely hard to find.
Same with turkeys. I did a ton of research on heritage turkeys .
I want to have a place for locals to go to and have people around the country come to a place and easily find some of these breeds. I want a place different then the feed stores chickens. And I want egg coloration at the market instead of the brown and white you see. I want something different! :)
Also I am going to focus on health. Organic, no soy, etc.. I am a health buff and have learned a lot about gmos, soy, etc etc.

I have a passion for this. And I appreciate all the info to help get me there! This will help my journey go a lot smoother.

Thank you so much!!! :)
 

perchie.girl

RIP 1953-2021
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 29, 2010
28,492
64,547
1,392
San Diego county High Desert
I would also consider getting NPIP certified at one point. Probably not necessary if you are selling within your state.

As well as learn good packaging techniques to make sure those eggs get to where they are going through the postal service.... And survive intact with their air cells not scrambled.

Good luck from San Diego as well.

for what its worth I investigated getting certified for shell egg sales.. Eggs for eating and selling them at say a farmers market... In California I gave up.

deb
 

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom