Broody vs Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by nova022, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My friend has offered to give me 12 Black Copper Maran eggs in the spring and I want to be able to have as high a hatch as possible from this wonderful gift. Does anyone have a preference on using a broody or an incubator? I have never hatched eggs before and would like to go with the way that would likely have the most success. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Broodies do it sooo much better. There will be no chance of temperature spikes, she'll turn the eggs far more than you'd be able to, and she does all the work for you. Broody hens usually have near 100% or 100% hatch rates, as long as all the eggs are fertile. As an example, I gave my silkie 8 eggs to incubate, and I took four. At the end of the day, I had a temperature spike, and only one of my four eggs hatched. One of my silkie's eggs wasn't fertile, so that one didn't count. She hatched all seven others perfectly.
     
  3. ArmyWife

    ArmyWife Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new to this. This year is my first year to ever have chickens. I bought my chicks one day after hatching and they all survived up till last week. something killed the 1 rooster I had. However, that rooster had fertilized our hens already. So I am leaving the eggs in the box and the hens have all started laying all of their eggs in the same pile. However, they have been there a week and they keep adding, but no one is sitting on them yet. Maybe they do not know what to do? Do you know how soon they have to sit on them before it is too late?
     
  4. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know for sure, but there are many experienced people on here who will likely help. I believe I heard that the eggs are good for 20 or so days because the hen lays her whole clutch before starting to sit. As I said I am new to this too so hopefully someone will give us help.
     
  5. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the thought of using a broody. My friend with the eggs suggested it as well. I am just not sure how to go about timing the broody and the arrival of the eggs.
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Ideally they shouldn't be older than 7 days before incubation starts, but you can go up to 10 days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  7. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    I would say make sure you have a broody, and then get the eggs. Dedicated broodies sit for eight weeks or more before deciding they're done with it if no eggs hatch, so you definitely have some wiggle room. My silkie girl sat for three months straight during her first broody episode this year, back when I had no rooster and wasn't buying hatching eggs.



    They're good for up to ten days, but less than seven is the best. Also, just leaving them in there doesn't mean someone will go broody and sit, especially this late in the year. It's all about hormones, not the presence of eggs. If you really want chicks from that rooster, you only have a three week window from his death to ensure at least some eggs are fertilized. After that, no more fertilized eggs will be produced. I'd say buy, borrow, or make an incubator and fast if you want some of his offspring. Your hens probably won't sit for you this late, and you won't get any of his chicks.
     
  8. brahmakid11

    brahmakid11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well if you hatch eggs under a hen, there will be far less deformed chicks than in a incubator, but you need to make sure that the hen dosen't get scared and leave the nest. Once one of my friends hatched a peachick under a hen.
     
  9. ArmyWife

    ArmyWife Out Of The Brooder

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    ok thanks
     
  10. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately, getting a broody hen isn't as simple as leaving the eggs to pile up in the nest. That's the big advantage that incubators have over a broody, you can choose when you want to set and hatch eggs rather than being at the mercy of hormones that may or may not have convenient timing. You can't make a hen go broody, so if no one's shown an interest in setting on that pile of eggs you will need to find an incubator if you want to hatch any of them.

    There's a lot of varying opinions/advice on how long fertile eggs can sit and will still hatch. The longer they set, the lower the hatch rate is going to be. General consensus is that you are most likely to get the best hatch rate from fresh eggs that are less than 7 days old. Many people feel confident starting incubation on eggs as old as 10 days. However, there have been people who have successfully incubated and had decent hatch rates on eggs much older than that.

    My first two hatches were a somewhat similar situation. We had intended to hatch some of our own eggs this spring, but neighbors complained and we had to get rid of our rooster sooner than when we had planned to hatch our eggs. On a whim, we stuck all of the eggs we had at the time in an incubator to start incubating, some of them were close to 2 weeks old. After seeing that some of the eggs from certain hens had 100% development, we got the wild hair to set a second hatch (in the same incubator...don't really recommend it for your first go at incubating eggs but it could have been worse) so we saved up the eggs from those hens and about two weeks after we got rid of our rooster we threw another dozen eggs in the incubator. We still had a fairly decent hatch rate even on those 2 week old eggs (probably would have been better if we hadn't tried to do a staggered hatch in one incubator with no previous experience incubating eggs).
     

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