It’s a wonderful feeling when spring finally arrives on our little mountain farmstead! Tender green grass peeps through the soil and my young currant bushes put out tiny, rippled leaves. My hens also feel the effects of spring and start laying their oval shaped eggs with regularity. And me? I start carefully collecting their eggs for hatching!
Today, I want to tell you all about how you can make sure your hatching eggs are fertile. It isn’t often talked about, but it’s crucial if you want to keep an ongoing flock of birds!
A Male Bird
First of all? You need to keep a male bird with your hens. Obvious, I know! But without his work, eggs will remain infertile. Instead of developing into little birds, they’ll simply rot in the incubation process. It doesn’t matter if you use an electric incubator or a mama bird. No male=no baby birds!
A Male Bird In His Prime
As with female poultry, a male bird is only productive for so long. Once he’s past his prime, he slowly starts losing his much-needed abilities! If your eggs don’t develop in the incubation process, it could be that your male needs to be replaced by a younger, fresher male!
Productivity in males will vary according to poultry types and even among heritage/non-heritage birds, so be sure and do your research on your particular type and breed of poultry!
Enough Male Bird to Go Around
Depending on the size of your flock and the type of poultry you keep, one male might not be enough to go around! If there are too many females, big daddy simply won’t be able to cover them all. So once again, do your research and also, keep records so you know when your male/s need to be changed out.
Other Things to Also Consider
When attempting to hatch eggs from your birds, you also need to consider the breed you’re working with. Some fast-growing meat birds won’t produce fertile eggs without human intervention. That’s right! The males grow so large, they need help with the mating process.
And remember: if you’re working with a hybrid breed (like top-quality, egg-producers), their offspring won’t be true to type. Just something to think about before you decide to raise baby birds on your land!
That’s the Basics
So there you have it! If you ensure these basic requirements are met, your birds will readily do their part to make sure your hatching eggs are fertile. Wanna learn about how to collect eggs for incubation? Be sure to read this blog post o’ mine!