At first I thought raising chickens would be easy-peesy.You know - buying a coop, feeding, watering, collection eggs... it didn't seem that hard. But my thoughts changed when my first 6 new arrivals hatched!
It was on a sunny Autumn day that I went to feed and let out my flock of bantam hens. Counting them off as they went, I noticed one was forcing herself to stay in the nesting box. I cautiously lifted her from the nest, horrified to see 6 chicks fall out from under neath. I quickly packed them into the nesting box and placed back the hen. This was the first hatch I'd ever had! I searched up on BYC " caring for chicks " and found that most articles were about caring for incubated chicks. These chicks hatched under a hen, therefore she can feed, care, and raise them herself. All I needed to do was keep their living conditions in good shape and change the bedding material every so often... So, in my point of view, raising chicks under a hen is much easier. You don't take the risk of one getting too cold, because mommy hen will keep them warm just fine!
But some people love to watch chicks hatch in the incubator, and love the responsibility of caring for them. It all depends on the time you have to look after them. Caring for chicks under an incubator can be stressful when you get home from work. Having to clean up everything, change the food, check the temperature isn't too hot... it can get frustrating. But for some proffessional breeders, it's easier to get an incubator than to wait for a hen to go broody. But, is it worth taking the risk of chicks freezing, or dehydrating? The mother hen will acomplish all the needs of her chicks herself, while you'll need to act as the mother all day and night when using an incubator. What looks easier in you point of view?
Letting Broody Hens Hatch and Raise Chicks
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