Tip 1: Chicken Law
Some areas have very strict laws about breeding chickens while some places have specific rules on how many chickens and roosters you may have. Check your local law to avoid fines.
Tip 2: Room for New Chickens
Most of the time people don't take into account that when you breed chickens, very soon you will have more of them than when you started. Make sure that you chicken coop have room for new chickens.
Tip 3: Do you need more roosters?
When breeding chickens you will have about 50% of male chicks. They will not contribute your egg production, they will increase noise level and also eat more food. You must understand that breeding your own flock will result in dealing with roosters.
Tip 4: Obtain a Good Rooster
You rooster doesn’t need to be the same breed as your hens to be able to mate, but he has to be in his prime breeding condition if you want healthy chicks. Also, you should have 1 rooster for every 10 hens in your flock. Do your best to find one, understand that he will make a lot of noise and can be aggressive.
Tip 5: Spring Time Breeding
Of course that you can breed chickens during whole year but it is best to start in the spring. Until autumn, chicks that have been born in the spring will start producing eggs. There are no special needs, just feed them well and introduce the rooster to your flock.
Tip 6: Decide Between Incubating or Hen
If you think that you can rely on your hen to lay on eggs, it is fine but you may result in 3 month egg production loss. In case that you think about incubating large number of eggs, purchasing an incubator will save your money over time.
Choosing the Right Eggs
Tip 1: Collect Your Eggs
No matter if you want to incubate your eggs in an incubator or let the hens do that, you need to make sure that only the best ones are incubating. Collect your eggs few times a day, if it is hot outside up to five times a day. Make sure that you are using soft basket for egg collecting and handle them with care.
Tip 2: Keep It Clean
First of all, make sure that you have washed your hands. Keep the nest clean is especially important when breeding. Mud and chicken droppings will increase the amount of bacteria that can infect the eggs.
Tip 3: Choose Your Eggs for Incubation
Choosing the right eggs will increase chances of successful hatching. Avoid eggs that are smaller or larger than normal size, discard cracked or misshapen eggs and keep only the clean ones (wiping and washing removes eggs protective coating).
Tip 4: Mark All Eggs
In case that you have decided to hatch a lot of eggs, you need to make sure that you know how old they are. Use marking pen to write dates or breeds in order to track your eggs easier.
Tip 5: How to Store Eggs?
You may store eggs up to seven days from the day when they have been laid. You need to store them for at least one day before starting incubation. When storing eggs, make sure that pointy end is down and temperature is 55 °F (13 °C).
Tip 6: Turn Eggs Every Day
In order to keep the egg membrane from sticking to one side you need to turn the eggs once a day.