Originally Posted by SeaHen
I ask this question a lot, but what do you all do with your babies once they're hatched? Meaning, do you keep them, sell them or give them away? I'm up to 10 geese now (from 3) and 50+ chickens! My ducks relocated themselves to the next-door-neighbor's about 4 years ago because she has a better pond, but they still come here daily for extra food. I've retired my incubator and have to snatch eggs away from the broody hens and geese, which makes me feel like a criminal. I broke down and bought 6 chicks last night to put under 3 persistently broody banty-X hens; two hens freaked out and the third gratefully adopted all the babies. Roosters are another issue altogether, as I have 10 of those. I've sold chicks and goslings from unintentional hatches in the past and really don't want to put myself or the birds through that trauma again, but some of these ladies are determined to be moms! The really ironic thing is that the minute I decide I'm going to pare down on the birds one of the elusive hens shows up with a dozen little furballs!
It is hard for me to part with geese, so I do my best to take eggs away. I sell eggs for hatching from my best quality geese and use the rest for eating or recycling back to the birds. As hard as it may be, I will toss developing embryos if I discover a goose has managed to start cooking some eggs. Despite my efforts, they still manage to hatch 1-4 babies each year, so I either re-home them or absorb them into my already large gaggle. I have not used my bator the last two years since I have been at full capacity with 3 dozen geese. Since I lost a couple prize geese last year, I'm excited to allow myself to hatch a few this year.
As for my ducks and chickens, they are easier to take eggs away from before they go broody, but my muscovy ducks are champs are setting where I cannot get to them and so they manage to hatch a bunch every year. Luckily, it is super easy to find homes for them.