Broody vs Bator - Going with the Broody!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by LilRalphieRoosmama, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I have two very broody hens but always remove the eggs. I want to hatch some out and am wondering if I would get better results with the broody or with the bator? What are your thoughts?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  2. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Let the hen hatch them. She knows a lot more about the needs of the eggs and how to do it than we do.
  3. DouglasPeeps

    DouglasPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2008
    I agree. Besides, it is a lot less work on your part to let your broody hatch them. She will do a great job!
  4. ghulst

    ghulst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    Broodie is the only way to go if you have them.One year i had 10 broodies set at the same time.
  5. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Go with broody. The girls will know best about how to take care of their babies and broodied eggs take one less day to hatch. (Hatching at day 20.) Hens are always my first choice.
  6. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Thanks! I would definitely like to let her do it but I don't want a bunch of chicks, just a few. Should I mark the eggs she's sitting on today and keep removing the others? And the nesting boxes are off the ground. Will that be a problem for the babies or should I move them to the brooder when they hatch?
  7. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Yep, mark the eggs with a pencil or crayon. (Note that crayon fades off after a few days.) Be careful when letting them set with other hens around, as the other non-broody girls may kick them out and your broody hens could possibly not return to the eggs until it is too late and they are cold. I've had that happen to me before, and it's not fun. My nesting boxes were off the ground, and this is okay for the first day or two, but after, Mommy will want to leave with her babies and it'll be hard to get them to safety. Something to think about.
  8. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    I have 10 hens 3 boxes. I haven't seen the one broody move in two weeks (although I know she has to because she's eating). When I collect the eggs, I pick her up and set her in the next box over. She complains ALOT but settles right in to the new box to start all over. Should I remove her from the coop to her own area? How do you keep the other hens from getting to the eggs?
  9. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think you'd have an even greater chance if you move them both alone. Because your two hens are broody, you can keep them together, but away from your flock. Do you have a dark or quiet place to keep them? We also have ten hens and three nesting boxes, but our girls chose favorite spots to lay and kick the broodies out.

    I once tried to hatch a clutch with a broody, and at day 7, she was kicked out of that nest and took over a new one, so that when the hen left the first box with my eggs, my broody didn't need to return, having found a new nest to set. It was very disapointing.

    If you have an area where they are kept near food and water but where the others cannot reach them, you'll do fine. Even if it's loud and bright, the hens will continue to set. Just keep them in their spots until it's dark and move them where you'll want them to set for the next 20 days. They'll wake up stress free and continue to try and hatch.

    Some people hatch used a basement, although I'm not allowed to keep hens in the house. [​IMG] So I put her in a nesting bucket in the feeding area seperated by a wall. She was able to hear the others up close and keep in contact with them. She was also able to leave when she willed, and go free-range for a few minutes, then return to set. Others keep their broodies in rabbit hutches. Whatever works, really. Do you have any place in mind?
  10. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Well, my coop is in my garage and I just open the side door to let them out in to the yard. I have a big dog crate and was thinking I could put her in there in the garage but out of the coop. I'm not sure she'd like being in the cage though, even with the door left open because she's never been in one before. Other than that, I don't have any ideas.

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