Efficiency

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by Peplers chicks, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Peplers chicks

    Peplers chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have experience in the past that if a hen has hatched in a incubator the change that she will be a good brooder is very slim, and also will not be a good mother if by change she does hatch her eggs, what is your expert advice, is there a way to learn her to breed, I usually loos a great deal of eggs on waiting for the hen's to go broody. My plan is to have 200 hen's that can constantly supply chicks and then sell them, and the older ones, to provide a income.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    This has not been my experience at all! My first broody hen was a Black Sexlink I had purchased from the feed store as a day-old chick. She was 17 months when she went broody in August but she sat faithfully (in a record hot summer) on those eggs until 7 of the 12 she started with, hatched. She was an excellent mother, and didn't lose a single chick. She kept them with her until they were 15 weeks old!

    Since then I've had an uncountable number of broody hens. I've only had one that wasn't very good at it - and she was one of the chicks raised by that very first broody hen. She had a mother until she was 15 weeks old, so when she went broody this summer, I thought "awesome". She hatched 3 chicks, and immediately rejected and pecked one of them, kicking it out of the nest. If it hadn't been summer, it would have died. As it was, I found it cowering in terror in a corner. I retrieved it and gave it to another broody hen, who, fortunately, accepted and raised it. Meanwhile, the first hen still had two of her chicks. She was in a segregated small pen I use just for broodies, and she did fine in there, but then I let her out with the flock and she promptly lost one of her chicks. It may not have been her fault - I did have a hawk visit that day - but nevertheless, she failed to keep her chick safe. So, with one remaining chick, she continued on, but at night, abandoned the chick to go and roost in the coop. I wound up putting her remaining chick in with another broody who adopted it, even though it was a couple weeks older than her chicks. During the night she would tuck them all under her to sleep, but during the day the first hen would join her and the two of them would stay with the chicks, helping them learn to forage. During all of this though, at night she left them and went to roost by herself.

    Every other broody hen I've had has done an excellent job - and I think with the exception of the "bad" mom, who was herself broody raised, every broody I've had, hatched in an incubator.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The chanced that a hen will go broody is inherited. It is in the genetics. It has nothing to do with whether the egg was hatched by a hen or in an incubator. It’s all instinct.

    Certain chickens, especially production breeds, have had a lot of the broodiness bred out of them. When a hen is broody she is not laying eggs, is eating some, disrupts the flock, and requires special handling. That’s just not profitable in a commercial operation. If going broody is a death sentence in the breeding flock, in very few generations you have a flock where not many hens go broody.

    Decorative breeds often go broody a lot more than production breeds, but here in the USA a lot of the decorative chickens come from hatcheries where they make their profit by hatching eggs. The decorative chickens are still much more likely to go broody than the production breeds but it’s still hit or miss.

    If you hatch eggs from your hens that go broody and keep breeders from those, you can improve the number of broody hens you have. That goes for keeping roosters as well as hens because it is all genetic and roosters contribute to genetics. I’ve had some success doing that but it takes a couple of generations to see much of a difference. There’s still a lot of luck involved.

    One strategy some people use is to keep a separate flock, often games, that are known to go broody a lot and let them hatch the eggs and raise the chicks.

    I don’t save eggs, hoping on will go broody. When one does go broody I like to wait a couple of days to make sure she is truly broody and not just thinking about it. I’ve had several act broody but not really kick over into full broody mode. By the time I’m sure she is worthy of eggs, I’ve saved enough for her.

    Good luck with it. It can certainly be frustrating waiting on a broody.
     
  4. Peplers chicks

    Peplers chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you very much HeChicken, maybe I must give it anther chance and see what happens, be blessed. The hen's that I had this experience with was production hen's. Be blessed
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh yes, and I got carried away and forgot to address the other things in your post. Fortunately Ridgerunner covered me! I also do not leave eggs out. In my case, I have a mixed flock and don't want to hatch mutts, so I collect all eggs every day. Then, when I have a hen go broody, I start to save up eggs from my pure-bred pens. I let a hen "sit" for several days to make sure she is serious and by then I've saved up a clutch for her, and set them all under her at the same time.

    Production birds are far less likely to brood. I don't know what breeds are available to you in South Africa, but I have found bantams to be the most likely to brood. I have a silkie and some cochins, but my most broody hen so far is a Sultan. And, as Ridgerunner said, game hens also make excellent broodies and mothers.
     
  6. Peplers chicks

    Peplers chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you again for the advice. I was relatively successful about 12(more or less) years ago until some nearby farmers's dogs helped themself with kentucky, And yes I did use bantam's to do the broody thing, but also experience a bad move there due to the fact of finance to prevent that the breed and bantams don't mix, It is costly to put fencing that covers a area big enough for chicks to free range, I am a pastor that lives on faith for surviving, so ya, to buy proper feed for chicks is a nogo, free range is the only option. A few moth's ago I started again to help for a more steady income, and yes, it is very stressful to wait for a hen to get broody. Thank you Ridgerunner for commenting, we also have the same breeds as there in the USA.
     

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