If you are lucky enough to keep chickens as pets, you may decide that you would like to breed from them, rather than simply collect their eggs each day.
There is no reason why you can’t breed chickens yourself, in order to expand your own brood or to sell them on. Here is some simple guidance that will help you on your way.
Where do I start when breeding chickens?
- Make sure that your hens are all fit and healthy
- Invest in a cockerel if you don’t already have one
- Plan when you want them to breed - hens can lay all year round, but the spring is considered to be much better with the warmer weather
Move your cockerel in with the hens
- It is advisable to only have one cockerel in with your hens, as they do not often get on with each other
- Make sure that your chosen cockerel is healthy and in good physical condition
- Leave your cockerel in with the hens, rather than take him in and out - he will win them over with his ritual dancing and then the mating will begin
How long will it take?
- After around 2 to 3 weeks your hens should begin to lay fertilised eggs
- You will know that your eggs are fertilised if they start to have white or red splotches inside
How do I incubate the fertilised eggs?
- As soon as you start the incubation process, you will need to commit to continuing it
- It is best to collect the fertilised eggs over a few days and the add them to the incubator at the same time, as this will ensure they are at the same stage of development
- Invest in a high quality incubator that you can rely on
- Follow the instructions of your incubator to the letter, otherwise your eggs will not develop properly and may never hatch
Browse our full range of incubators and chick brooders for some high quality equipment that can help you to breed healthy chickens