Which eggs to eat and which eggs to leave?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by UnlabeledMama, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. UnlabeledMama

    UnlabeledMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for the clueless question! I am debating keeping one rooster. This is a little premature (they aren't even laying yet!), but how do you know if an egg is fertile or not? If I have 1 rooster with 18 hens all the eggs won't be fertile so how do I know which ones to leave in the coop to try to hatch and which ones to eat?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    It would be better to pen your rooster with the 5 hens you wish him to breed. They only need to be penned for a week and he'll likely have bred them all. Collect eggs after a week and fill your incubator. Once you've got enough fertile eggs incubated, you can release the breeding pens for the rest of the year.

    In short? Your fertility rates would be hit and miss in flock breeding with one rooster over that many hens. Poor hatching results are disappointing. Better to be more focused, I would think?
     
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, first you need a hen to go broody... After that it is just guessing. Lol. I am super new to chickens as well, but my reading and research points to me that the only way to tell an egg is fertile in the beginning is to crack it open...

    So, when they first start laying just keep cracking them open and looking at whether they are fertilized...I feel that most of them will be... but then you will have an idea of the ratio of fertilized to non fertilized eggs...

    Also once one of your hens goes broody just keep putting eggs under her, and in a few days give them a light check (candling) and see what you can see going on in there...if after a week there is nothing going on there probably won't be....but if you see some little curly bits and veiny looking things then you are in business...I am excited about having a hen that will go broody. I wish there was a way to make it happen...but I just bought a hen with chicks...that way I know that I have at least one hen with a capacity to go broody and take care of eggs. I super super want to hatch some of my own. Good luck!
     
  4. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is maybe the best idea ever! Much better than my idea...
    Jeez you guys know so much. Ah well, I'll learn fast.
     
  5. UnlabeledMama

    UnlabeledMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not really looking at focusing on breeding. I am just willing to allow it to happen naturally, but I still want to eat my eggs! ;) If we did let some eggs develop the mom would raise them - I'm not interested in investing in an incubator ....
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Then, in that case, just let nature take it's course.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you truly get a broody hen, she'll growl and be intense about sitting on a clutch. You'll know it when you see it. LOL

    However, without knowing whether the eggs she's sitting on are fertile or not, she may be wasting her time. What we do is this. You can use this information any way you wish.

    Once we see a hen go broody, really broody, we place her in a broody pen. This is very small pen, with food and water. Almost like a rabbit hutch. We place known fertile eggs under her. That way she hatches what we wish her to hatch.

    During those first couple of days one of your hens shows committed broodiness, you've still got time to "make" fertile eggs. You could quickly pen off your rooster with a small harem of 4 hens. After the second or third day, the eggs coming out of that harem are almost assuredly fertile and can be placed under the broody. Give her eight-ten fertile eggs to sit on. That would take just a few days for the harem to produce that many fertile eggs.

    None of this takes enormous facilities, just some facilities with flexibility and imagination.
     
  8. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    if you get eggs every day it doesn't matter if they are fertile, you can still eat them. If you want to hatch eggs than yes a smaller group of hens with the roo will ensure better chances for fertile eggs to be hatched. The main difference in most back yard flocks for eggs is the temp at which you cook the eggs [​IMG] as hatching eggs are cooked around 99.5 for about 21 days and well you know how to cook eating eggs. Hope this helps and there's a North Carolina thread in the "Where am I, where are you" section with lots of NCers [​IMG]
     
  9. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. arcy liger

    arcy liger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two roosters but I want to breed them with their own breed.If penned up (with their own breed) will they have characters of both rosters or only one...
     

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