First timer Questions


9 Years
Aug 3, 2010
I have 10 hens and 2 roos- the hens are RIRs and Barred Rocks with a Columbia Rock X rooster (lost my Barred Rock roo I wanted to keep for breeding) and 2 EE hens and 1 roo. I`d like to hatch out some more birds instead of going the feed store route this time. Last year was our first year having chickens, we got them from the hatchery. The EEs I got from a local farm. We also have a pair of blue laced Muscovies from the same farm. None of my hens are the least bit broody and I would like add to our flock, just a bit. We are only doing this as a small backyard farm hobby and eggs- not for selling anything. My kids- 8, 6 and 2- are homeschooled so we are also looking at this as a science project as well! All my birds are about a year old. How can I get a hen to sit on my eggs? I was thinking of putting an add on kijiji seeking a broody hen but after reading some on here I`m a little terrified of disease... Apparently the lady I bought my EEs and ducks from had the mama of my ducks hatch out over 60 chicks last year but my duck is really shy and flighty and has yet to lay any of her own so I really doubt she`d set on any for me. Anything I can do to encourage one of my own to get broody!? Is there a great post on here someone can point me to that has steps to take and tips for me to follow?
I`d also love to try hatching out our own in the house just for the experience, we don`t have an incubator or $ for one, but how successful are the cheap homemade brooders- I realize I could end up with a dozen or so wasted eggs in our attempts.
So what do I do, secure a broody hen or an incubator, put my hen and roo in a pen together that I want to mate and wait how long till I start collecting her eggs? Once I start collecting them, leave them at room temp for up to week or 2 until I have a clutch, then bator them or set them under my broody hen in isolation with food and water close by... I know it can`t be that simple! I`d appreciate any help anyone can offer. Also, if I use a broody hen to hatch out the eggs, will she let us get close enough to watch the proceedings around day 21 or will it unsettle her?
What about a cage setup in the basement for her- surroundings too foreign?
Thanks for any help!

I am in my first year with chickens too, so I am not sure how much help I will actually be. I understand that broodiness has been bred out of most chickens, but that if they have any at all, you can let the eggs pile up a little and they will begin to get interested in setting. i am thinking that I read someone used a pile of wooden eggs to encourage broodiness, and when one finally went broody, replaced the wooden ones with some she had collected. If nothing else, get you an incubator. That way, you will definitely be an active part of the entire process. There are so many people who incubate their own that you are sure to have all the help you need

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