Do I have to incubate???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by WoodChic, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    We want to hatch our own chicks. Can we just let the mother sit on them, and mother them like in the wild? Do the other hens beat up on them or something? We don't really want to incubate. Thanks for whatever response! [​IMG]
  2. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Do a search on Broody Hens. You should get hundreds of threads to read through.

    I tried last year when a hen went broody. I separated her from the rest of the flock but about 2 weeks into it, a cat got in the room and scared the poo out of the hen. She never sat on the eggs again. Out of curiosity, I cracked the eggs open before they went to compost and wouldn't you know, 7 of the 8 eggs (she was a big, old hen) were developed.

    (as a side note, while the cat killed off that hatch, I have heard that kids and pets also unplug incubators too. Just part of the process I guess.)
  3. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    Broody hens are pretty good at raising babies. If you can let them free range, they're VERY good at raising babies, and really fun to watch. You got a hen that will set? Go for it![​IMG]

    and post pics and stories on BYC for the rest of us!
  4. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    I have an incubator, because I usually let broodies do it. LOL. And broodies have brains the size of peas and sometimes do weird, strange or awful things. So for abandoned eggs, cracked eggs and for those months where NO hen goes broody, I have incubators. Broodies are not perfect. Some are nearly perfect but first timers mess up often, and even practiced hens sometimes just have mind farts, and you end up with eggs abandoned and only half way there. Unless you plan on just dealing with fate, and I didn't like that much. I ended up getting an incubator for the emergencies. And once you have an incubator... it screams when it's empty.

    So sure, if you have a hen that will go broody, and not all will. Then that works. I've had hens who can raise ten out of ten every dang time and I've had hens who can only get half to make it, and hens who can't keep a chick alive to save their souls, despite trying. They're as individual as people, some good, some mediocre and some awful or homicidal.

    It's a matter of learning your birds.

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