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Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

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gracefromspace
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Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby gracefromspace » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:10 pm

I have just aquired a large & handsome 2 year old freerange Orpington x Shaver rooster by the name of 'Texas'. He is a lovely natured boy who was hand raised along with other freerange chickens. My girls who are all PB Shaver or Shaver x's seem to think he is pretty handsome also, and I was quite surprised at how well they accepted his (announced) arrival yesterday, lol. This is my first time having a rooster and have not bred poultry before. I have one 18 month hen who can go quite broody at times, so I figure she may make a great mum and raise some chicks for me, as well as the other girls hopefully. The rest of the girls are aged 8 - 16 months. They all provide a great supply of fresh eggs every day, have a very large area for freeranging and are housed safely at night, with their new suitor having taken up residence with his harem last night. I just need some basics and general pointing in the right direction of where to begin please. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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farmgal
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Re: Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby farmgal » Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:44 pm

viewtopic.php?f=71&t=1530

Hope this link works, it answers a goodly number of broody hen questions,

http://livingmydreamlifeonthefarm.wordp ... hicks-101/

If you have questions, please feel free to ask and good luck on getting some of your hens to sit and hatch little ones.
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http://livingmydreamlifeonthefarm.wordpress.com/

gracefromspace
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Re: Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby gracefromspace » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:09 pm

Thank you so much farmgal, fantastic simple to follow information. I really like the idea of the hanging wool strips for them to huddle in for warmth, and have plenty of natural wood shavings for bedding. My girls all seem very content and happy with their new addition this morning, and he is obviously feeling rather pleased about new ladies all for himself - judging by his crowing and strutting about ! :D
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Cares
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Re: Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby Cares » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:03 am

A couple of things to consider when the hens sit on the eggs and if you allow the hens to raise the chicks...

I like to keep the hen and her chicks isolated for a couple of weeks in a secure place and only place a very small amount of sawdust in the house as sometimes hens can get a little enthusiastic about scratching about and can bury the chicks in the process. Straw is the worst in this regard!!!
I used to incubate eggs over letting hens sit then keeping the chicks seperate until they at least 4 weeks old...I think I am a better mum than the hens!
I also like to choose which eggs get incubated that way I can get more hens if wanted for eggs or roosters for the table when needed. Yep you can sex the eggs with about 85-90% success.
I built a couple of chick houses out of pallets...when I get home I will post a picture :D
I breed Australorp x Sussex and get a nice table bird and egg layer from it.
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Cares
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Re: Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby Cares » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:21 pm

This is one of the chick houses I built, I have another one that is a little smaller and only one side is hinged (both sides on this one can be opened)
I later put a shelf under it to hold their food etc. I have raised hundreds of chicks in these houses :D
I was incubating the eggs in a dehydrator the size of a small fridge and I just put a container of water in the bottom and turned the eggs twice a day...well I did this until the thermostat blew, still got replace that.
At present I have hens in the houses sitting on eggs.
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gracefromspace
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Re: Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby gracefromspace » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:58 pm

Thank you very much Cares, I really do like the design of your chick house and will show my husband, he has no shortage of pallets and recycled materials to build one from. Would you mind if I save the photos of your design so we can refer to it when constructing? Also, how do you sex the eggs please?
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Cares
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Re: Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby Cares » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:27 pm

Not a problem at all to copy the design :D

I have attached a picture from 'Mother Earth News' that shows the difference between the eggs...I have found sexing the eggs to be about 85-90% accurate.
Sometimes I would incubate eggs for neighbours and they always chose to eat the nice big round eggs and gave me all the pointy one...I had a lot of explaining to do then they eventually started letting me choose from their eggs. Really really pointy or elongated eggs never hatch at all as I think the chick has no room to move to crack it, so avoid those eggs totally.
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gracefromspace
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Re: Poultry Breeding Help Needed Please

Postby gracefromspace » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:40 am

Eggcellent!! Thank you :D
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