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New Articles | April 29, 2016
Poultry Processing Equipment for the Novice Farmer – eFowl Blog
The Chicken Chick®: How Much Heat Do Chicks REALLY Need? Think Like a Mother Hen!
Marans Chicken: April Breed of the Month – Countryside Network
When Will My Chicken Start Laying Eggs?
The Miracle of Chickens’ Feathers
The Chicken Chick®: Caring for Broody Hens: Facilitating Egg-hatching
Coop to Kitchen – 5 Tips to Ensure Clean Eggs from your Backyard Chickens | Fresh Eggs Daily®
Are my Chicken Eggs Fertile? | Fresh Eggs Daily®
Chicks Vs. Pullets: What’s The Best Way To Start Your Flock? – Hobby Farms
Seven Things You Must Prepare Before Your Chicks Arrive
Great Information about Raising Hatch-A-Longs | The Chicken Chick
Hatching eggs the natural way, everything you need to know is covered in this article. I referred to this article several times while preparing for my first hatch using a broody Silkie. Thanks Kathy!
What’s New at TBN Ranch
Finally finished predator proofing the last coop, just in time to house Mamma and her new chicks. A great find at a local feed store puts the last finishing touch on my broody coop, a beautiful ramp just the right size… and price!
It’s best to keep a hen with fertile eggs under her in a separate place, but that’s not always possible. Personally, I like to keep my birds together, so this box is a nice solution. I found this pic somewhere and saved it so I could incorporate the idea in my own coop.
Why is this Box Important?
1. Sometimes other hens can disturb a nest of fertile eggs causing them to break.
2. Other hens may quit laying if they are discouraged to enter the community nest area by a hen with eggs under her.
3. Newly hatched chicks may get injured or even killed by other members of the flock.
I like having the wire top hinged. It’s nice and super easy to move a broody hen from the community nest area and have the option to close the lid as hatch day approaches.
1st choice: Black-tailed White Japanese Bantams
I’ve never had bantams before, thought this year I might see if I can locate a few Japanese bantams. My Pet Chicken carries them, but they are out of stock. 😦
Bantams aren’t anything special other than for their size, they are small, about half the size of a chicken. Japanese bantams aren’t easy to find, but lately, they have been advertised on Craigslist by a private party about 30 miles from here. They most likely won’t be sexed, but I’m positive re-homing roosters of this breed will be a breeze.
If I don’t find my pretty bantams of choice, I’m choosing the Delaware. They are available Sept. 30th from My Pet Chicken, but hopefully I can find them local, shipping is pretty spendy!
I’ve chosen this breed because I may try to hatch fertile eggs. The Delaware is a setter, and hopefully at least one of these ladies would like to be a foster mommy.
The brooder is ready, but the coop for young pullets? Well… it’s gone, I sold it, ha ha! Better get busy!
The Basic Reproduction Process Explained
As in all animals, the fusion of ovum and a sperm is how fertilization occurs. Then an embryo forms and develops into a new organism. The chicken is no exception; their eggs need to be fertilized in order to develop a chick.
A chicken will begin laying eggs between five and six months of age, until then she is called a pullet. However, climate, seasons, and other various factors do play a significant role in laying cycles. Certain breed types are also included in the variances of egg laying, first time or otherwise. One thing for sure, when a pullet reaches sexual maturity she will lay eggs whether or not there is a rooster present.
Roosters [males] have reproductive organs which produce sperms that are released during mating. The sperms enter the oviduct of the hen [female] and continues a nearly week long reproductive journey to meet the eggs. The sperms final destination is in the infundibulum. This is where they will wait about a week for the partially formed and unshelled eggs. If there is a yolk, the eggs are fertilized instantly. So, it’s safe to say you can expect fertile eggs seven to ten days after mating.
Note: It is possible the hen may produce fertile eggs the following week as well.
When hens are in the presence of a rooster there is a way to separate the fertilized eggs from infertile by a technique called candling. This method uses a bright light source behind the egg to show details through the shell. Fertilized eggs will show a darker yolk on one end, usually when they are one or two days old. Within two to three days, if incubated, you may actually see indications of a growing embryo.