Chickens in the egg.

natalie312(9)February 26, 2009

I told my friend that my family eats firtalize eggs. She said that is every fertalized egg there is a baby chicken as soon as their mother lays the egg. I thought that the mother has to stsy on the egg for a while for the chick to develop. Can you let me in on what you think and belive.

Thank you, Natalie

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

You are correct. :)

All hens lay eggs, whether a rooster is there or not. If there IS a rooster, THEN you get fertilized eggs. A fertile egg has a 'germinal disc' that has the POSSIBILITY of developing into a chick. A hen must 'go broody' (go into setting mode) and sit on a clutch of fertile eggs for at least a week before you'll see a chick start to form (visible to the naked eye, that is), and the chick hatches after 21 days of incubation.

Great page on eggs and the life cycle of a chick here:

Also, when you see a blood spot in a freshly cracked egg--that is NOT a baby chick, it's simply a bit of blood from the hen that got caught in the egg while the egg was forming, nothing more. Most supermarket eggs are from battery hens that never see a rooster, much less the sun or open ground. :(

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:26PM
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Thank you Velvet, I know it is very sad what happends to the chickens. Hey I have 13 red-sex links, do they go broody very much? How do you get a chicken to go broody?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:34PM
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Tell them your family eats balut! when they discover what that is they will really flip!

Its a partuially incubated duck egg, a part of asian cuisine.

hens of certain breeds go broody triggered by daylength. Usually the heavy and medium breeds and most bantam breeds. You cannot make them . The red sexlinks are a terminal cross of N.H. Red and white Rock, some will brood. They are selected for egg laying while broodiness is selected against.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:47PM
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LOL, Thank You, Your right she probley will freak. LOL

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:06PM
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An unfertilized egg is genetically 1/2 of a chicken, the fertilized egg is genetically a whole chicken. When they hatch they are viable chickens (still need mothers help), and when old enough they become independent chickens.

So let's go to the IHop for genetically 1/2 chickens & hash-browns, then later go to the Colonel's' for some independent chicken (original receipt of course). 'LOL'

Love those birds!!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:24PM
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LOL, ya mmmm!! Cool, thanks guys for all the info.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:03PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)


You might be able to 'encourage' broodiness by leaving eggs in the nests until the end of the day, and making them lovely, private, dark, 'hidey-hole' type nests--mama hens love to feel that they are hiding their eggs from predators. They need to feel safe. I have a curtain of black landscaping fabric hung over the entrance to my nests, slit up the center so the hens can come & go. My hens go broody constantly, the little psychos! I usually end up with situations like this, where they all pile in TOGETHER:

Yep, that's FIVE broody hens in one box! A Frizzle in front, a buff & black hen, twin sister buff cochins (they did everything together) and a black Silkie.

Criminy, that was one WELL defended nest!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 1:09AM
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Velvet: how did you get your hens to go in with the "door" over the nest? I have tried that a few times--my girls totally freaked out and avoided that nest like the plague!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 7:14AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I had the wooden nest boxes first, that were enclosed on all sides except the front (as you see in the pic above, I just lifted the fabric to snap the pic). Once the hens got used to laying in the boxes, and I realized that they really would prefer something not as open, I simply stapled the curtain of landscaping fabric over the front and cut a slit up the center of each box. The fabric I used is the heavy stuff with the really open weave (I think it's actually more of a shade cloth), so it still lets in some light & air, while giving the hens the illusion of privacy and 'hiding' their eggs.

After a while, the hens coming and going made the edges of the fabric curl so that it formed a little 'V' shape, as you can see in this picture--look at the wooden boxes on the bottom:

I'm considering changing the fabric as the weather this year has really given it a beating and it's nasty-looking.

Also, the hens love their new 'Hi-Tech' nests, as well! :)
Yes, those are computer monitor cases!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 7:06PM
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well I am glad you explained the box on the bottom because I was trying to figure it out when you previously posted that photo. The cloth actually looked like hard plastic (like an upside down giant egg crate) and I was thinking what the heck is this she came up with. LOL

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:04PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Seramas wins 500 internet points.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 1:20AM
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velvet I forgot to ask you if your chickens are bunched up like that do they ever crack the eggs when they come out of the box?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:21AM
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Cool, thank you guy's. Hey Velvet you when an award for most creative nest boxes!!! How come my chickens eggs are so fragile?? They break really easly.. I've been trying to get my chickens to lay in the nesting boxes but they alway's lay on the bail of hay we have in the chicken coop!!! I've tryed puting three or four eggs in the nesting boxes but they won't lay there eggs in there. When will my chickens start laying regulary??


    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 6:49PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Natalie, try adding a bit more nesting material to the nests--I have a friend that had the same problem, the hens wouldn't use the nests. So she simply added another inch of straw to the nests and viola--! Suddenly they were happy and used them. :) If your hens' eggs break easily (and it isn't because they are laying eggs on a hard surface), try adding more calcium to their diet.

No, the broody hens don't damage the eggs when they group nest, they are very tender and careful. What's REALLY fun is--broody hens don't LAY eggs. So guess what? Additional laying hens gleefully cram themselves in there and lay eggs!

It really IS ridiculous... :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 10:36PM
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I sometimes get 10 eggs in one nest - all intact. It really is funny. I got four eggs from the top of the shredded paper bag yesterday. You just never know. They're so pixilated! :-)

I had that black landscape fabric over two nests at first but it got so poopy and disgusting that I removed it. They still use the nests. Your's looks faily clean, Velvet.

Love those monitors!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:09AM
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Cool, I'll try putting more hay in thier nesting boxes. I bought some egg maker food for them, do you think that that will help make the eggs stronger?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 3:02PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Depends, what is in the egg maker food? Calcium is what will make eggshells stronger, as well as good overall health. Oyster shell is a good source of calcium for birds, most pet stores that cater to birds sell it or you can find it online. I just toss some out to my chickens every so often.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 4:44AM
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I thought my chickens were funny when two of them crammed into one nesting box and ignored the empty ones next door but 5! That is hilarious. Too cute.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 6:20PM
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