Hiya to all! I've had 6 chooks for about 6 months now! I think they are isa browns (but they could be hy line browns??)...I forget! Eventually I will take a pic and put them up! My 4 year old and 2 year old love their chooks....4 year old picks them up all the time! We had a stint with a rooster a month ago but I had to give him back as he crowed from 3 am right next to the girls bedrooms! I was keen to see if he could breed with my girls but I just kept taking the eggs without knowing if they were fertilised or not? How do you tell? I have one broody hen who is always on the nest and gets harassed by the other 5 chooks when she gets off the nest which is usually me kicking her off when I collect the eggs...!! Im not sure what happens when the other chooks come in to lay? She always ends up with all the eggs under her though??
Anyways...ive been wondering whether to get some fertilised eggs for her to sit on? but im worried about the babies...if they hatch successfully Im guessing I will have to separate adoptive mum and the babies from the other 5 especially if they harass her surely they will harm the babies?
And does it matter what breed of eggs? Eg will she succesfully mother another breed of chicks? And if she is there do I need to keep the chicks under heat lamps as well??
Does anyone have any insight??
Thanks in advance! Im already addicted to the idea of more chooks even though I havent enough recipes for the eggs I get aleady!! Lucky I have lots of family in need of eggs!!
welcome to the forum, Lena! I only have 3 chooks, and because I live in suburbia I can't have a rooster, but from what I've learned from the others on the forum you can't tell if the egg is fertilized or not from th outside. Also, clucky hens seem to hatch anything you put under them (if they keep sitting that is) and would mother any breed (and replace the heat lamp doing so). You'd probably have to separate them while she's sitting, or the others will keep adding unfertilized eggs I'd think
Hi and welcome If get some fertilised eggs for her to sit on you will need to seperate her for a week or two after they hatch as the others may peck at and kill the chicks if they are not use to chicks. Its worth doing ,so much fun. As pianochook says you cant tell if a egg is fertile. Generally if the girls are with a rooster the eggs will be fertile after a week or 10 days and will remain fertile for approx a week after he leaves.
It does not matter what breed of eggs and yes she will succesfully mother another breed of chicks? If mother hen is looking after then you dont need a heat lamp .
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2011 15:59:41 GMT 8 by annieyokie
Hi Lena I've been off site for a while so this may be a bit late. It sounds as if you have your hens in one pen. What I have done is put a piece of chicken wire and a temporary gate (more chicken wire with a stick to keep it upright) across one end of the pen and then put a covered box in there with a nest for the broody hen. She has to be separate from the others. You can put any fertilised eggs under her (I have guinea fowl eggs under a bantam frizzle). They'll take around 20 days to hatch and I usually keep the chicks and Mum separate from the other hens for at least six weeks or until the chicks are starting to look like small hens and can stick up for themselves. That's usually about when they are also ready to leave Mum, or Mum to leave them and start laying eggs again. If you gave the rooster away a month ago there is no chance your hen's eggs are fertile. It usually lasts a few days but not much longer. Find someone who has a rooster and ask them for some fertile eggs. Maybe swap some of yours for some of theirs. Good luck
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