Which eggs do I incubate? Obviously fertilized how to tell?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lori Kay, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Lori Kay

    Lori Kay Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Mar 1, 2011
    I know this is probably a dumb question and I've searched this site but haven't answered my questions. I have 22 hens one blue silkie and three roosters (by accident) anyway I am keeping my roosters as I have become attached to them. Roo Roo the Barred Rock, Goldie the Buff Orpington, and no name yet for a Golden Laced Wyandotte.

    1) Are three rooster two many for this number of hens?

    2) Come Spring time my daughters and I want to try and hatch some chicks, I will use and incubator because I don't believe the breeds I have are very broody, and I think the girls will be more involved that way. Anyway, do I just pick a few eggs one day out of the blue and stick them in the incubator and give it a try candling them at day five or so? How do I know which eggs are fertile on day one?

    3) how long do I have to get them to the incubator if the hen isn't sitting on them?

    4) Any advice on choosing an incubator? I need easy and low maintenance.

    5) I'm thinking with three roosters I will have a lot of fertilized eggs LOL, I plan to eat them because we will gather daily, but would there be a noticable difference in a day two egg if we happened to miss one?

    6) Will chicken that free range during the day return to the coop to lay their eggs or will I have to play hide and seek all over the farm? They are just about to start laying, I've found one just inside the door on the floor of the coop one morning. Wasn't a good sign that they were going to use the nesting boxes.

    Thanks for any help, we are loving our chickens they are a very rewarding hobby!!
     
  2. bustermommy

    bustermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

    734
    3
    121
    Apr 16, 2011
    As far as finding one outside the nest box, a couple of my girls laid their first eggs on the coop floor. Since then, always in the nest box. I guess the first one surprises them. I did put golf balls in the nests after I found the first egg but I don't know if it helped or not.

    ETA: They free range all day and always go back to the coop to lay.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  3. jm93030

    jm93030 Chillin' With My Peeps

    947
    3
    141
    Jun 4, 2009
    93015
    Quote:
     
  4. domino7

    domino7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    901
    1
    129
    Jan 4, 2009
    N.E. Ohio
    1. I don't think that's too many roosters for 22 hens, you will be able to tell over time.

    2. You can tell fertility by cracking them open, and looking for the "bullseye". You can do a search on here, there are many posts about that.

    3. The sooner the better, but they can remain viable for up to two weeks.

    4. That depends on how much you want to invest, but I like the Brinsea incubators.

    5. If they are not being incubated, there will be no difference.

    6. My free range chickens lay all their eggs in the coop.
     
  5. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

    11,640
    221
    308
    Aug 14, 2011
    louisiana
    1) Are three rooster two many for this number of hens? hmmm i'm not sure

    2) Come Spring time my daughters and I want to try and hatch some chicks, I will use and incubator because I don't believe the breeds I have are very broody, and I think the girls will be more involved that way. Anyway, do I just pick a few eggs one day out of the blue and stick them in the incubator and give it a try candling them at day five or so? How do I know which eggs are fertile on day one? i have heard silkies go broody...you collect the eggs everyday. day 7-10 is the best time to candle. idk how to tell if they are fertile on the 1st day

    3) how long do I have to get them to the incubator if the hen isn't sitting on them? collect eggs everyday. i would store up to 7-10 days but no later. after being 10 days old the fertility of the eggs declin

    4) Any advice on choosing an incubator? I need easy and low maintenance. it all depends i use a still air

    5) I'm thinking with three roosters I will have a lot of fertilized eggs LOL, I plan to eat them because we will gather daily, but would there be a noticable difference in a day two egg if we happened to miss one? idk we colloct 2-3 times a day. if we happen to miss one we toss it (we dont like anything over a day old but thats just us)

    6) Will chicken that free range during the day return to the coop to lay their eggs or will I have to play hide and seek all over the farm? They are just about to start laying, I've found one just inside the door on the floor of the coop one morning. Wasn't a good sign that they were going to use the nesting boxes. you might be playing hide and seek
     
  6. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    Keep an eye on your girls. Many times a hen will get bald spot on her back due to being a roos "favorite". If it gets bad (I have seen some get pretty bad even with some blood) Then you know that you have too many. I think it depends on the roos though. I had one rooster who had 12 hens and most had bald spots, and then Ive had 3 roos in with 10 hens and only one hen was slightly ruffed on her back [​IMG] I think it depends on how "active" the roos are. Also keep in mind that some roosters can become aggressive towards other roosters. A pecking order is normal, but beating each other up is something you want to discourage
    As far as incubators go, I have an eco brinsea and its super easy. Clean up is super easy too after the hatch.

    You won't know which eggs are fertile just by looking at the shell, but with 3 roos, your eggs should be fertile [​IMG] You can candle and see the veins and eye forming, some people can see it at day 4 or 5. I must not have the right light, I usually wait till day 9
     
  7. chics n more

    chics n more Out Of The Brooder

    88
    0
    28
    Jun 14, 2011
    Deep Gap, NC
    Our 6 red stars started laying in Aug. and we have 1RIR roo that hangs with them-and another group of 9 hens with 1 roo all who are a month younger. I did notice bullseyes in our lovely brown eggs once they were normal sized (random small/odd shapes at first). We put 3 in experimentally in our first attempt to hatch Sept 29th (Brinsea eco 20) and all three are running around chirping today!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by