Anybody done this: Incubate under a hen and then pull the eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Nifty-Chicken, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    We have an incubator that we want to test out. We also have a buff Orp. that goes broody 3-5 times a year. We've used her to hatch eggs before, but next time is for the kids to have the experience of watching the eggs hatch.

    I'm wondering if anybody has let a hen incubate the eggs the whole time and then pull them out the last day to watch them hatch in the incubator?
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    You know, it really sounds like a fun idea. You would want to give the broody some fresh eggs to sit on for a few days so she will take back the babies once they hatch. You probably don't have to give her very many...3 or 4...because she can't count and then you could return the babies to her one night. Let us know how this goes.
  3. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    We'll actually probably raise them in the house. My wife wants to bond / make them people friendly.

    While a great incubator and mom, our buff is our most unfriendly hen. She's always away from the rest of the girls and avoids us like crazy. She tends to teach her chicks to do the same.
  4. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    I have done it just the opposite way. I have incubated the eggs in the bator and then the last week or so, have slipped them under a broody hen to finish and hatch. That has worked good for the couple of times I did it. I don't see why it would not work they way you want to do it.
  5. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Can you leave her one or two so she doesnt feel sad after all that work...and time...and sacrifice...and back pain....and labor...... (Sorry, Im a mom!) [​IMG]
  6. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    I'd go with tiffanyh's request. That way if the incubator has problems, the whole batch of eggs won't be lost. You won't be putting all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. [​IMG]
  7. Pinenot

    Pinenot Songster

    Sep 11, 2007
    I did that a couple years ago and I don't suggest it with out leaving her a few to raise. Mine went though a hard time. She would search for hours and did that for several days. It was sad and I regreted it.
  8. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    HaHa Nifty. Of course...I don't want to miss the fuzzy butts hatching.

    Just kidding...I actually have tho. The reason I did it was I ran out of room in my incubator and didn't know what to do with the extra eggs. Then it dawned on me..I've got a bunch of broodies outside. So I gave them the eggs and after candling and weeding some out, by hatch time I could let them hatch inside my hatcher together. I also don't have a sufficient way to separate a bunch of broodies, so it works better if I bring them in to raise them. Plus I get to spoil the chicks.

    I've also done it the other way around. Started in the bator and gave them to the hen to finish. They're typically very happy to help.

  9. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Well, I hate to admit it, but we have to 'break' her of her broodiness every time. She just sits in the nest all day for months making things difficult for us (getting eggs out) and for the other hens.

    I'm always about an inch away from getting rid of her (as is my wife) but my mom who lives next to us just loves her since she's so pretty.
  10. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    Awww, Nifty, your broody hen just wants to be a mommy! [​IMG]

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