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Broody vs Incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by BlackAce, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. BlackAce

    BlackAce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see a lot of people here pulling the eggs from the hen and incubating them. Instead of the broody doing it. Why is that?
     
  2. Buffrington

    Buffrington Out Of The Brooder

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    In my experience, the little that I have with chickens is that I am afraid my Buff Orpington hens will lay the eggs and not incubate them after the clutch has been laid and the eggs would be "waisted"

    I actually posted a question and asking "How long can the eggs just lay there and still be okay if and when the hen decised to go broody and incubate them, which answers/explains my issue above. [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It seems to me, people think they can artificially incubate the eggs rather than trust the hen to do it the way it has been done since Creation. Personally, I'd rather let the hen do all the work. When the hen is setting, the temperature and humidity are always perfect, the eggs get turned, and the mama takes care of them after they hatch. Less stress for me that way! Of course, if you want chicks on your schedule instead of waiting for a hen to go broody, you need to take the eggs and incubate them yourself.

    You are right. If your BO isn't broody, she will just lay the eggs and they will sit there. The advantage of artificially incubating them is, you can hatch chicks out on your own schedule instead of waiting for a hen to go broody.
     
  4. Buffrington

    Buffrington Out Of The Brooder

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    This makes me wonder, I have a difderant hen with one chick which is one week old, could I perhaps take one egg and put it under her and see if she will incubate the egg.
     
  5. McGobs

    McGobs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A mother with a week old chick is going to be out teaching the chick how to be a chicken. She most likley won't hatch out another egg at this point.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    Absolutely correct. A hen will only sit on and try to hatch an egg (or eggs) if she is broody. They go broody on their own hormonal cycle. Giving them and egg will not make them broody. You will know it when you have a broody hen. She will growl at you when you try to pick the eggs out from under her. She will flatten herself like a pancake when you approach the nest. She will give you the "stink eye" when you come close. She will not want to leave the nest if you try to take her off of it. She may leave the nest on her own for 10-20 minutes at a time, but then hurry back. [​IMG]
    Not a real good picture of the stink eye, but if you look closely you can see it.

    [​IMG]
    This one would NOT leave this nest. I tried to move her two or three times, but she was persistent and finally got her way.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Buffrington

    Buffrington Out Of The Brooder

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    In this case ....I was hoping for something not going to happen....

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  8. BlackAce

    BlackAce Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WOW!! This is some really good info!!!
     
  9. GardenDave

    GardenDave Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah as McGobs said, the mother will be out teaching her chick how to be a chicken. I have heard many stories of a broody chicken sitting on her eggs and hatching the first one, only for the rest to be just a few hours away from hatching but dying because the mother left them to care for the first. Sad really.

    Also you can hatch many more eggs and at a time to suit you, whereas with a chicken you rely on the chicken and can only fit a small amount under her in comparison.

    Incubators eliminate this problem but it really is better to have nature do the work for you, for the simple reason that it is natural. I fear that the longer people use incubators for, the more chance there is of chickens losing their natural instinct to brood all together, just like the quail.
     
  10. Carin

    Carin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I must admit that I misuse the hens broodiness to my advantage. I wait for a hen to go broody but I did find that my Brahma hens are comfortable on not more that 8 eggs. As soon as I have a broody hen I will give her 8 eggs and put another dozen or two in the incubator. For some reason my hens will go broody within a few days from each other. As soon as the next one goes broody she gets some of the incubator eggs and if a third one goes broody she will also get some incubator eggs. This way some of my hens only had to sit for half the time to hatch some chicks.

    My reasons for this are:
    I prefer to have all the chicks more or less the same age- makes for easier vaccination and flock integration.
    The hens that sit shorter will not lose as much weight as those that sit for the full 21 days.
    There is no getting up from the nest by the wrong hen as soon as she hears the first chicks that hatched. Before I started doing it this way I had a few times the problem of eggs being abandoned by the hen who is supposed to be still broody and joining in the "learning chickies how to be chickens" instead of sitting.
    I do not need to be the momma for little chicks- the hens do a much better job.
    Those hens that sit shorter start to lay again earlier.
    The problem is to wait for that first hen to be broody when you want to have chickies and no hen want to be broody like at the moment[​IMG]
     

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