Best way to get chicks naturally

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rowemc, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. rowemc

    rowemc New Egg

    Mar 30, 2009
    I am a beginner with raising chicks. I bought my first two groups from the feed store and ended up with one beautiful rooster. I don't want to get rid of it so I though I'd let try and let nature takes it's course to get some chicks. Anyone know the best way to go about it? For instance, time of year, keeping the rooster separated for non-fertilized eggs to eat. Stuff like that.
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Spring is the best time for hatching out chicks. However, you need to have a breed of chicken that goes broody, and at least one individual hen who exhibits that characteristic. Many breeds of chicken have had that instinct to brood bred right out of them, because if you want a chicken for egg laying, you don't want them going broody (no eggs during that whole period of broodiness).

    What breed of chickens do you have?

    Oh, and by the way, there's no reason to separate the rooster from the hens. Fertilized eggs taste just the same as nonfertilized eggs; you really can't tell the difference. Just collect eggs daily for eating. Fertilized eggs do not begin to develop until and unless a hen starts sitting on them continuously (or they are placed in an artificial incubator).
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  3. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fertilized eggs are no different for eating than unfertilized, so you shouldn't need to keep your rooster separate. If you collect your eggs daily, there will be no reason to worry about finding a developing chick in an egg you thought you'd have for breakfast (that would be disconcerting). Hens will go "broody", usually in the spring and early summer, meaning they want to sit on eggs, will fluff up and may peck at you when you reach under them, and will rarely leave the nest. Eggs won't begin to develop until they have been under a really warm hen consistently for a period of time. If you want to have a broody hen hatch out some chicks for you, she'll be happy to.
  4. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    If you're keeping the rooster in with the hens then your eggs are most likely fertilized. Then it's just a matter of having one of your hens go broody. different breeds are broodier than others but I have had 2 broodies so far - a buff orpington and a barred rock. The BO was an excellent mother, the BR I'm discouraging from sitting. Once you have had one go broody then you can put enyone's fertilized eggs under her and let nature take it's course.
    I have no advice on how to get them to go broody - they just seem to do it whenever it fancies them.
    As far as non-fertilized eggs - I believe you'll have to keep the rooster separated from the hens for about a month.
  5. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Fertilized eggs are just as good to eat as unfertlized. No. two, you can not get chicks naturally unless one of your hens go broody. This is a natural occurance with some breeds ,others do not go broody. If you want chicks on your schedule you will need an incubator. The broodies are sometimes fickle but I love to watch them with their chicks. [​IMG] Gloria Jean
  6. rowemc

    rowemc New Egg

    Mar 30, 2009
    Thanks for the advice. My older chickens (meaning I bought them a year ago last April) are Americanas and Rhode Island Reds. My newer chicks I got in April and are Araucanas, Black Sex Link and some other breed I can't remember. So right now I am only getting large eggs from the Americanas and Rhode Island reds. The Rooster came with the new chicks so I don't think he will even start fertilizing for a few months, if my google search results were correct. [​IMG] I have never noticed any of my chickens wanting to sit on the eggs very long. They all seem to lay and leave. There are a few that will peck when they laying eggs however. So I'm not sure if I have broody candidates or not. My biggest hope was to not mess with it too much and let nature be nature. But I wasn't sure about the fertilized egg thing. We collect daily so I guess it's not a worry.
  7. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    A broody hen will stay on the nest and not want to get off.
    She will not only peck you, she will puff up the size of a basketball, and stick her butt in the air and complain loudly when disturbed.
    They will get off the nest once or twice a day to eat, drink and poop.
    Even when off the nest, they will puff up and chase off the other chickens when they are off to eat and drink.
    They usually only poo once a day and it is unmistakably stinky...enough to be named a 'broody poo'...
    ...huge and very stinky.
  8. rowemc

    rowemc New Egg

    Mar 30, 2009
    Well I don't they do that. I guess I will just have to leave a few eggs in the nest and see what happen????
  9. cracked_egg

    cracked_egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2010
    My understanding is that a clutch of eggs is what makes them go broody (this is one of the reasons to collect every day).

    So if I were you, I would let them lay about 7-8 eggs (don't know how many hens you have) then mark those eggs with a marker.... After that you continue to collect the new eggs, without the mark, while leaving the "old eggs"... Even if it doesn't work the first time I'd try again here and there and see if you can get someone to go broody... Hard to go broody with nothing to sit on... Guess you could try golf balls too.... Then when one does go broody slide some eggs under her in exchange for the golf balls... Chickens aren't real bright, thank God!
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you get lucky, one might go broody. I've not really found a clutch of eggs to cause hens to go broody. I collect every day, but have found stashes of literally dozens of eggs in the woods and nobody has ever gone broody on them. That said... I've had plenty go broody in empty nests or on rocks. [​IMG]

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