I’ve decided that I’m ready to have some chicks now. Unfortunately, the hens aren’t cooperating. Or maybe the rooster isn’t? I dunno. But I have so many questions about the whole process!!
I started to write this post like I knew what I was talking about. I was going to explain exactly how everything works and answer all of my own questions. It didn’t take long before I realized that I don’t have any idea what the heck I’m talking about. The more I read on the subject, the more questions I have!
So, instead of impressing you with my vast knowledge (or maybe confusing you with my lack of), I thought it would be better if I pose my questions for the more experienced to explain!
So, if you have any experience with chickens hatching eggs, I need your help! Here is what I’m wondering…
How old do the hens (or rooster) have to be to breed?
Can eggs only be fertilized at certain times of the month?
Can hens hatch eggs in winter? Could the eggs freeze?
Do you have to have the same breed of chickens to breed? Like, could my Leghorn breed with a Bantam? It doesn’t seem like that would work out too well?!
How many eggs will a hen hatch? Do they hatch one day at a time or all at once?
What if they won’t sit on the eggs? Or will they always stay on their eggs?
Why would you put another hen’s eggs under a sitting hen? Don’t the hens sit on their own eggs?
Are all of the eggs that a hen sits on fertilized?
Will a hen lay a whole clutch of eggs to sit on at once, or one per day?
Will she sit on one, or wait until they are all laid to start sitting?
How will I know when her egg is fertilized?
How many “litters?” can a hen have per year? (What do you call a group of chicks anyways?)
I read that you should only let them sit on as many eggs as they can cover with their body… so, what do I do with the eggs I remove? Can I eat them, or is there a chick growing inside?
So many questions!! Somebody please enlighten me!