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Would anyone have some insight into which eggs to eat & which ones we can anticipate hatching?  We have a hen & rooster & would like both.  Thank you in advance.  C.R.


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I'm not sure what exactly you're asking...

If you have a rooster and a hen, then all of your eggs should be viable for hatching. They are also totally acceptable for eating. Most folks that eat their fertile eggs try to pull them from nests daily. Fertile eggs will not start to form chicks unless they are put under heat such as placing them in an incubator, or allowing a broody hen to set on and hatch a clutch. (broody hens will refuse to leave a nest for days once they go broody, even if you pull their eggs. If this has not happened, you do not have a broody hen. :) )

 

On a side note, you may find that your rooster mates your single hen more than you'd like. If you start seeing feather loss on your hen, you might need to increase your hen to rooster count. (or get rid of your rooster) The generally accepted ratio is 1 rooster to no less than 8 hens. I have had a 1/3 ratio, but the rooster was a pretty young one, and I got more hens before he got sexually mature. Over mating can stress hens to the point of illness and sometimes death.

My husband was given a hen & rooster.  They look older & there was another hen but it died b/f they came to us.  I haven't noticed them mating.  If the hen should lay eggs, is it ok to leave her together w/ the rooster.  We have a crate  w/ straw as a nesting box.  We are brand new at this so grateful appreciation any advice.  Thank you,  C.R.
They can live together!! You will get eggs with or without the rooster. Most likely, they mate, and you just haven't seen it. I would assume you are getting at least some fertile eggs unless your rooster is "shooting blanks" so to speak. How long have you had them? Most hens lay what averages out to be nearly one egg a day (more if they are egg laying breeds, sometimes less if they are meat varieties) Their cycle is a little bit more the one egg every 24 hours... so every once in a while, they "skip" a day. Hard to explain without looking up the exact details I have written down somewhere... but that's the gist. The only real concern I would have is the rooster over mating your hen, and you'll see signs of that before it gets bad. (feather loss on the rump and back of the head)

Good Morning, you are so kind to respond to my questions.  Thank you.  We have only had them for two days now.  I could hardly wait to hear the rooster crow when I went to sleep last night & even woke up 1/2 hr. early!  I love it!  Hope our neighbors don't mind too much:)  I overheard my neighbor-lady conversing w/ my little girl about the dangers of  the rooster's spurs.  They do look wicked.   Are they as aggressive as the spurs imply?  He hasn't shown it yet but does appear to be protective of "his" hen.  It's very sweet. 

 

As for the eggs, we haven't seen any yet.  However, the woman that gave them to us told my hubby that she does lay eggs.  Could it be that she's just stressed from moving?   I don't see an absence of feathers on the hen but it looks like the rooster is bald under his tail feathers.  Also, they were roaming in a large yard but since we have a couple of dogs & cats around here, my hubby built a small enclosure for their safety (@8'x5').   On days that I have time to spend out there w/ them, I plan to let them free to roam in the yard.  I put a crate inside w/ straw but never see her in it.  I found an e-book called My Pet Chicken Guide to Raising Chickens.  So, am also getting info from it.  

 

Sincerely,  C.R.



Carolyn Rodriguez said:

Good Morning, you are so kind to respond to my questions.  Thank you.  We have only had them for two days now.  I could hardly wait to hear the rooster crow when I went to sleep last night & even woke up 1/2 hr. early!  I love it!  Hope our neighbors don't mind too much:)  I overheard my neighbor-lady conversing w/ my little girl about the dangers of  the rooster's spurs.  They do look wicked.   Are they as aggressive as the spurs imply?  He hasn't shown it yet but does appear to be protective of "his" hen.  It's very sweet. 

 

As for the eggs, we haven't seen any yet.  However, the woman that gave them to us told my hubby that she does lay eggs.  Could it be that she's just stressed from moving?   I don't see an absence of feathers on the hen but it looks like the rooster is bald under his tail feathers.  Also, they were roaming in a large yard but since we have a couple of dogs & cats around here, my hubby built a small enclosure for their safety (@8'x5').   On days that I have time to spend out there w/ them, I plan to let them free to roam in the yard.  I put a crate inside w/ straw but never see her in it.  I found an e-book called My Pet Chicken Guide to Raising Chickens.  So, am also getting info from it.  

 

Sincerely,  C.R.

Our hen's rear-end has poop on the feathers.  Is it ok to spray them w/ the hose?  Or do they bathe?

Feathers are like fingernails. I personally trim poopy feathers from my hens with scissors. Clip about an inch or so from the skin, and you should be fine.

 

As for your Rooster, this article is pretty helpful in keeping roosters from becoming aggressive, which it is natural for them to do. Basically, you're establishing with your rooster that YOU are the alpha rooster in a way roosters understand. http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=4810 Different roos have different personalities... mine has stayed very sweet using the method in the link. :)

Hi Rachel,  I've been preoccupied w/ dogs, cats, kids & now, chickens.   Whew, it really never ends.  I will definitely check out the article you sent.  Thanks.  After I emailed last, we adopted two more hens:)  They are only about 2 mos. old so are being kept in a separate cage within the coop.  Hopefully, they will become better acquainted with their elders this way.  I was thinking of trying to trim the rooster's spur a little.  They are SO big and sharp.  I  worry about him around my daughter, esp. when she tries to pick him up.  However, we have dogs.  The chickens are used to being around a dog but our dogs are not used to being around the chucks.   Still no eggs.  ?  Although I did see the hen lying in the crate.  Just curiously, how many chickens do you keep?  And how big of an area are they in?  I visited a friend yest. w/ several so I could see first hand how they live & he is very informative.  Bye for now,  C.R.   PS Is your pic by your reply from FB ?  I couldn't get the pic I wanted to replace the "HomeGrown" logo.

I loaded my photo here on ning... you can do that by clicking on the 'MY PAGE' tab at the top, and then hover over the image. It will prompt you with a CHANGE PHOTO overlay that pops up over the image. Click that, and load one from your computer!

 

If you haven't gotten any eggs, it may be that your hen is past laying age (and might be part of why she was given away?) or she's not yet laying. There are ways to trim your rooster's spurs, but you have to be very careful. They are like dog nails in that they have live matter inside them, and you can cut too much and they will bleed. I don't trim my rooster's spurs yet. They are about 2 inches long.

 

At the moment, I have a billion chickens... lol 14 laying hens, and 27 chicks that I recently hatched out to build my laying flock, and butcher for meat. I also just had a hen hatch 4 eggs and have a second hen sitting on 3 more. PLUS I have 6 turkey poults. I've lost count... how many is that!? lol I think I have 54 birds all together!!

Hi, Wow, that's unbelievable!  Do you do your own butchering?  My husband says he could do it but I definitely could not.   He's making additions to our little coop today--door, expanding their area.   I've seen the hen in her crate twice now in the a.m.  I go out to let them out & she gets up.  Should I leave her there?  Is that "brooding" & what is the purpose of it?  Sorry, I should keep on reading but you are such a wealth of info:)  Bye now,  C.R.
Yes, I'll be doing my own slaughter and processing. I've done it a few times, and it's not easy, but I'd rather know they died swiftly and in quiet than have someone else do it. Just sitting on the nest probably means she's trying it out to lay. She won't brood if she's not laying. (although once she starts BROODING, she'll stop laying while she sets on the nest.) Broody hens won't leave the nest if you come into the hen house. They puff up, and growl too. Pretty fierce, actually!! lol I actually have a video of mine...

ETA: Broody means a hen whose instinct to try and hatch a clutch of eggs has kicked in. She will sit on a nest (often without eggs even) for 21 days (sometimes longer if there are no eggs or her eggs haven't hatched.) Both of my broodies just finished hatching their first clutches of eggs today! Now to see what kind of mommies they are. :)
Good Morning and a fine Cock-a-D00dle-Doo to You!  I enjoyed the video you sent.  You have a nice set up.  Also, you are ONE TOUGH WOMAN to do your own slaughtering.  Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to live on a farm and although I love taking care of our animals, that's where I'd have to draw the line.   I turned green and had to leave the room while training to become a vet. lol   Well, yesterday was a big day for our chucks b/c my hubby installed a door from them.  I am about to go open it for the hen and rooster to be free to roam.  Then I can shut it and open up the little enclosure for the babies to go into the larger enclosed area.  Sorry, no video:)  I look forward now to your emails.  Thanks again for any/all advice and info.  C.R.  PS.  Do you clip their wings?

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