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How many eggs can a hen hatch?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I plan on letting my hens go broody. If I have New Hampshire hens, how many eggs could one safely hatch. Also how many eggs could a Cochin hatch. Thanks!

post #2 of 6

My broody hens usually hatched 12 eggs at a time, but it depends on the size of the eggs. Just give them as many as they can cover comfortably.

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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post #3 of 6

Is the cochin large fowl or bantam?  It depends on the size of the eggs and the size of the hen.  A bantam cannot cover as many eggs as a large fowl hen can.

Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

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Breeding Welsummers and Barnevelders.

 

Having an Icelandic in the coop is like having a 2 year old in the house - they are into everything and don't follow the rules.

I have zero chicken willpower.

Reply
post #4 of 6

I have only ever put 7 eggs at once under my Bantam Cochin and 6 eggs under my Bantam Ameracuna hens. In this nest I had 5 eggs but only 3 hatched. These are Bantam chicks.

Currently our chicken family consists of Bantam Blue Wheaten & Wheaten Ameracuna's, Bantam Cochin, Bantam Welsummer, Bantam Cuckoo Marans, Bantam Silver Laced Wyandottes, Bantam New Hampshires, a blue sizzle, a white silkie, RIP Aggie and Becky our special needs hens. We have had backyard poultry for over 30 years We are a NPIP Certified flock NH14-226.

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Currently our chicken family consists of Bantam Blue Wheaten & Wheaten Ameracuna's, Bantam Cochin, Bantam Welsummer, Bantam Cuckoo Marans, Bantam Silver Laced Wyandottes, Bantam New Hampshires, a blue sizzle, a white silkie, RIP Aggie and Becky our special needs hens. We have had backyard poultry for over 30 years We are a NPIP Certified flock NH14-226.

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post #5 of 6

The old meaning for a setting of eggs is 15 eggs.  This is especially so if the hen is hovering her own eggs.  If the hen is a large breed and the eggs are from a small or bantam breed, then more can be hovered by the same hen.  The reverse is true when trying to hatch an ostrich egg under a quail, you will need more quailsbig_smile.png  Too many eggs invites broken eggs and that can ruin every egg in the nest.

 

Also don't forget that hatchability starts decreasing the day the egg is laid, and 21 day old eggs hatch 0% of the time (almost)  If you want to hatch under a hen, it is best to store all the eggs in the dark & at 50-55 degrees and 70-80% humidity before you then give them back to your setting hen.  This way they all will pip and hatch together and you won't find a hen with one live chick that hatched out early and 14 chicks in the nest that got chilled before they were dry and died.  Oh yes, don't forget to turn hatching eggs that you are storing twice every day, that's very important.

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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post #6 of 6

To your point, I need 1 good size Buff Orpington to raise approximately 15 polish chicks.  My flock was decimated this year by a fox and my hubby and I want to rebuild with only polish.  I live in the city and am not able to handle roosters.  So, I've found a hatchery that will sell female only Polish hens, but I have to order at least 15.  I have 2 hens, but one of them is extremely aggressive and I don' t want her to raise them.  That leaves sweet little Pancake to brood the whole order.  

 

So...Can she do it?  She's a great mom, and as far as know hens will take chicks up to 3 days old.  She took some store bought chicks last year, so I'm not worried about her accepting them, I'm worried about how many will be too many.

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