Eggs or chicks?

Posted by: BJC

Eggs or chicks? - 08/17/05 11:50 PM

Hi I am new to raising chickens and have a question. The main reason I got chickens was for the eggs, but now am thinking that at some point I may like to let some eggs hatch (I know they have to be firtilized by a roo). I was just wondering if that would make them broody and if I would have a hard time getting them to lay again without them wanting to sit. I have RIR's, Aruacanas and a mixed breed. Or should I devote one or two for chicks and the rest for eggs? See I have little knowledge when it comes to chickens, but I am learning and to think I am a nurse.
Posted by: Rack

Re: Eggs or chicks? - 08/18/05 06:49 AM

I've just went through a hatch. Yes you will need a rooster. Most have attitude/mean and are not worth having since they tear up you hens.
I would order baby chicks first since you still have to raise them, but don't have to give shots... Have any chicks vaccinated for Mareks disease.
There is alot to raising chicks including temperature starting at 90 and each week reducing by 5 degrees, water can never be empty, chick starter sprinkled with chick grit, keeping cage clean, keeping them out of draft, keeping your hands clean when you deal with them, they must be isolated from the others for months until they are big enough not to be killed by the others and this can happen.
So you need alot of space to raise them since you will raise them for a while.
I would rather a hen raise her own, but I have had chickens two years and only one started to go broody and gave up. You can't make them go broody.
Incubating is not an easy task. It has a learning curb.
I would suggest if you have a good rooster wait til a chicken goes broody she will raise and it's much easier on you.
I am layed up at home and have nothing but time so I can devote alot of time to raising, but now I would rather let the hens do the work.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Eggs or chicks? - 08/18/05 09:44 AM

bjc:
A rooster is needed for fertile eggs to be produced but has no bearing on the hens going broody. That is determined by hormones and is individual to each hen. Some will lay a large number of eggs before going broody and others just a few.
If you want to use a broody it's best to keep 1 dozen of the freshest eggs on hand at all times. Just date them with a pencil and replace the oldest with the newest every day. Then when a hen goes broody you will have what you need.
How to handle a broody has been discussed many times so I am sure that a Search will bring up lots of informative reading material.
James
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Eggs or chicks? - 08/18/05 08:18 PM

Crikey Rack- you must have had dealings with a mean line of roosters, my Light Sussex stands propbably 75 cm high and is as quite as can be, I handle him daily, looking him up in the shed so my neighbours don't complain,

I love having roosters, they change the way a flock behaves and gives another aspect to watch each evening
Posted by: David T.

Re: Eggs or chicks? - 08/18/05 08:39 PM

Why do want chicks? Is it to raise them as replacement egg layers or do you want to breed and/or show pure breed fowl. If it is the latter you will at least one, maybe more quality roosters, multiple pens etc, etc. If it is to maintain your laying flock one reasonable quality rooster will do. That said, as I have mentioned before, I am not ‘big’ on roosters and obtain chicks (day old if possible) as required. Sometimes one of my hens will adopt and sometimes we hand raise. Both are fun. Personally, for a backyard flock, I recommend no rooster, getting chicks and eat the eggs.

Just my opinion, David.