We are starting our self sustaining flock this year and are looking forward to the day the little ones start laying, and doubly forward to broody hens and hopefully a lot of chicks each year so we don't have to keep buying meat chicks each year. It seems (after reading many threads) that even with a large flock it is still a bit hit or miss for hens to go broody, even with broody breeds. We are really hoping for, at the very least, 50 birds a year for the freezer. I have seen, many times on many threads, people recommending that others hatch their own chickens' eggs (as opposed to buying chicks or buying eggs) to make sure they are getting what they need each year because too few of their hens are brooding.
So, here are my questions.
1. If the chickens are all fertile, shouldn't the hens naturally go broody? I previously understood that being fertile is what triggers the need to brood. Is this wrong? If it is correct, then attempting to hatch their eggs will always fail...
Now, if it is NOT correct, then:
2. How do you know if the eggs are fertilized? The only way I have ever known is by cracking them open and looking at the yolk... obviously not an option.
3. Are there any ways to increase the possibility of hens going broody?
Any enlightenment here would be great! :-D
Edited by NysiaAnera - 4/2/16 at 12:14am