Who wants to hold my hand through this ?

blk90s13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 16, 2009
117
0
119
Howell,NJ
We had 4 roosters and 3 hens once they got a little older and started fighting we picked up 3 rooster and took them in the house ( lets leave it at that ) haha


now that we have one rooster and 3 hens everything should be cool right ? well I noticed the past couple of days that there is one of my hens always always sitting up on a branch i put in the run away from the rooster and when ever i get in the walk to put food or water she gets down on the ground this is when the rooster gets her right away and hits her and she would try to run away from him


is that normal ?


also can we just pick up all the eggs we get and eat or should we keep some for hatching ? I would like to add maybe 10 more hens was thinking about buying some 1 day old chicks and keeping them inside till its nice out and let them meet the rest of the gang later this spring
 

firedove

Songster
12 Years
Nov 10, 2008
1,088
27
249
Fitzwilliam NH
In my experience my roos will try to breed the hens any chance they get and I've rarely seen a hen give it up willingly. Usually one of the boys pounces and hangs onto the hen's neck feathers and she screeches until he jumps off. My smaller hens know where all the small hiding spaces are to hide away from my big Wyandotte roos, should one of them try to make a move on the girls. I'd imagine your hen is just using the roost to keep the boys at bay, playing hard to get. My roos always try to get the most unwilling of the flock for some reason. I guess boys will be boys no matter what the species.

As for eating eggs vs hatching them. We pick up all of our eggs but we have wooden eggs that stay in the nesting boxes all of the time. When a hen goes broody she will sit on one of the wooden eggs for a few days, When we are sure she is committed to brooding we just slip some real eggs under her and remove the wooden one. But if none of the hens are broody it's a waste to leave eggs in the coop to rot. Make sure if you do put eggs under a broody hen to mark the eggs you give her. Other hens will usually lay in the nest where the broody is and you will want to remove new eggs as they are laid since once the first eggs hatch out a broody will leave the nest with her chicks and any eggs that haven't developed completely to hatch at the same time will be left to die.

We also have an incubator that we use to hatch out eggs. When I'm collecting eggs I think I might set for hatch I make sure to place them in cartons pointy end down (it's very important to keep the air cell on the round end of the egg so they can hatch out right) and I place them on an angled surface (ironically usually on the Betty Crocker cookbook) and rotate the carton 180 degrees twice a day until I can set them. It's best to set eggs as quickly as possible and most recommend setting eggs that are no more than a week old (though I have had good success with some of my own eggs that were nearly 2 weeks old when set).

There is a sticky post in the incubating and hatching forum that gives several links to guides on care and selection of hatching eggs.
 

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