Sunday, November 6, 2011

How to Choose Fertilized Chicken Eggs - Sustainable Farming - MOTHER EARTH NEWS

I came across this article that was posted by McMurray Hatchery on facebook.

Here's the secret: If you want your brood to be mostly female, select and incubate only the most nearly oval eggs. Those with a noticeably pointed end produce cockerels. Many of the chicks-to-be you examine, of course (especially the first time you try this idea), will fall into an indeterminate range, so pick only the most clearly oval shapes if you want to hatch future layers.

We ordered 25 chicks from them last spring and were very pleased with the quality and health of the chicks we received.

However, if some of your selections are not available on the day your order is to ship then they will make a comparable selection for you. This was fine even though I was a little disappointed that I did not get a couple of really pretty hens I ordered for the most part we got exactly what we ordered, and then some.... :o) For some reason they decided to throw in a few extra chicks (3)for good measure and of course they turned out to be roosters.

We also received one chicken that we can not figure out what it is (breed) or (hen/rooster). We call it the dinosaur chicken. We are pretty sure it is a hen but it has a lot of rooster characteristics, it's stance, its size and it's cone look roosterish but we have never seen it crow or be aggressive with the other roosters nor  have we seen any roosters "bother" it???? You know, like they do the other hens :o) ( ok, I will take some pictures of her/him)

Next spring I think I will try letting some of my old hens that want to go broody sit on some eggs then I won't need to order more hens that turn out to be roosters. I think 4 rooster are enough even though we are building a new (very large) chicken house. (pictures soon)

I think I will give this method a try and see if i can hatch only hens.


Sue said...

I heard that MacMurray was a good source for buying chicks. We let our hens lay and hatch out each spring, Not a whole lot because we try and keep our flock small. We had four new pullets this year! yea! lol
I really get excited when it comes to chickens.~smile~
Good luck with your new adventure Susan you are going to really enjoy this.

*Ulrike* said...

Thanks for the article. We got our first batch of chickens through McMurray, and were very pleased. We have raised a few on our own, but for the past few summers the breed we have did not want to set. They are old so we will probably start new again as we enjoy our eggs from our backyard chickens!