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how to hatch eggs naturally...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,

this year I am going to try and hatch some chicks naturally. I have never done this before so i have some questions. What I think im going to do is get 2 silkie hens and 1 rooster... How do i know when they are ready to start sitting, do i just leave them once they start and what should the nest boxes look like?

post #2 of 5

welcome-byc.gif

 

A broody hen will stay in the nest box, refuse to get up and may peck you if you remove her eggs. Before you give her eggs to hatch make sure she really is broody though. She should sit for at least 2 days and sleep in the nest box as well. The nest box can be anything, really. As long as it's big enough for the hen to sit comfortably in.

 

Here a long, interesting thread on broody hen hatches that I think you will enjoy:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/457488/old-fashioned-broody-hen-hatch-a-long-and-informational-thread

 

“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
 

Reply

 

“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
 

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

I keep seeing people say i have to give her eggs to sit on but can't i just let her collect and sit on her own eggs?

post #4 of 5

You can, but there is no guarantees with this method. The hen may lay a few eggs and go broody, or she may not. Broodiness is a hormonal thing and it can happen anytime, or never. You can encourage a hen to go broody by leaving a few eggs for her, but mark them so you can remove the fresh laid ones daily. Or leave fake eggs/golf balls in the nest box. I've had some success with this, but it really depends on the individual hen and how prone to broodiness she is. Silkie hens are more broody than average, so it may work for you.

 

“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
 

Reply

 

“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
 

Reply
post #5 of 5
I have six silkies and one two week old silkie chick! If you get silkies they will let you know when they are ready! I have broodmania going on right now! They are very sweet and are wonderful mothers! My hens are 7 months old and pretty much all went broody at the same time. We let one go and broke all the others.the hen we let go broody sat really well and was constantly trying to increase her egg count by stealing the other girls eggs! She hatched one chick two weeks ago and all the other silkies act like proud aunties. No problems with any of them or the roo, he even lets the new chick run under his feet and eat right out from under him! They free range all day and the new mom and chick sleep inside at night due to our tropical rains and the fact that my silkies sleep in a pile rather than roosting! Good luck and have fun!
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