Originally Posted by luvmychixandducks
If you had a current flock- and they are laying eggs- couldn't you find one broody hen to do the work for you?
If not, certainly experiment with hatching using your own "free" eggs- get the process down pat so you are comfortable with the results- and get the target breed only when you are ready to hatch successfully.
(What breed are you looking for- that is only available via ebay? )
Well, believe it or not, I have raised chickens for more then 12 years, but not here in Texas. I use to live in the Amazon and I did not have to worry about such things because my flock was almost feral and did everything on their own. I learned from watching them that not all mother hens are the same. I had some hens that could hatch out 100% of their eggs and raise them up without losing one and other hens that would lose most of all their eggs and then lose the few that did hatch. I had one naked neck that was my best hen. I actually saw her tackle a hawk out of the air that was swooping down after her chics, beat it up and tear out it's tail feathers.
My point is this, you have to know which of your hens are good at hatching out eggs and raising chicks. I have never tried to hatch any of my eggs out with my hens here in Texas and so, I don't know which hens to use. In hind sight, I think I would have been better off testing my hens. But hind sight is always 20/20. I just did not think I would have such a hard time incubating eggs.
What I am trying to do is move to is another feral flock like I had in the Amazon. What I have now is a bunch of R.I.R.s that are not doing well in this dry desert climate. I want to raise a flock of American Grey gamefowl. I have looked everywhere to find chicks for sale, on the internet and all the local farm stores, but there are none. So I had to bid on some eggs on ebay. I never imagined how much they would go for, but there seems to be a lot of demand, because many other people bid against me and drove the price up.