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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SunnySideUpGUAM, Jan 16, 2016.
At what age should i breed my hens? And why? When do you get the best results?
I'd suggest you try a first time hen with only a few eggs, after observing her sitting on fake eggs (or eggs you are happy to discard) for a few days. First time broody hens can b hit or miss - some turn out to be great mothers while others can be useless. The only way you will find out is by trial and error.
In terms of when, maybe avoid seasons that may be very wet or cold, but to be honest, chicks are pretty resilient things and can tolerate most weather.
Hope this helps for starters
All the best
You're most welcome and good luck with your breeding adventure.
All the best
Will I get better hatch rates in the first laying season, or the second?
I'm honestly not sure. It may be an idea for you to keep records on all aspects of your chicken management so you will know for sure. Older hens are likely to make better mums in my experience.
All the best
Doesn't really matter as long as everybody is healthy. The very first eggs a pullet lays really shouldn't be used for incubation, due to the small size and potential abnormalities like double yolks. Wait to set eggs after the laying cycles have normalized and they are laying decent sized eggs for their breed. Those chicks need enough room to properly develop, and eggshells don't stretch. Pullets typically won't go broody during their first 6 months of laying. I don't keep my boys separated from my girls at all. The alpha rooster breeds the pullets when they are just about ready to start laying and will breed every mature, actively laying hen he has access to. I collect eggs daily and store them fat end up. That way, if I feel like hatching a batch, I just pick which eggs I want hatched and put in the incubator or under a broody hen. After a week, the fertility begins to degrade, so set the freshest eggs you can.
thanks junebuggena! Is that the way it goes, a rooster only mounts mature hens? I never knew that.
A mature rooster will only mount mature hens. A young cockerel will mount anything he can catch. My rooster stays well away from hens that are taking a break from laying, those girls can get really cranky before, during, and after molting.
thats another thing, do the hens just refuse the rooster while they are molting? i was thinking i should remove my rooster or the hens that are molting.