Hatching chicks the old timey way

thatssewmimi

In the Brooder
Aug 8, 2020
16
9
31
Does anyone on here hatch chicks the old timey way? We’re looking into doing this in the spring/summer when we won’t need a brooder. We live in the south so our summers are hot. I remember my mother marking the eggs and letting the hen set but can’t remember what to do leading up to this so all the chicks hatch at once!
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,965
556
Atlanta GA
you mean just letting a broody hen incubate them? you dont have to do anything. the hen will take care of it. just have her somewhere safe.
 

ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
5,131
15,965
556
Atlanta GA
chick development doesn't start until she stays sitting on them. they're designed to all hatch around the same time.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,223
17,332
706
USA
I remember my mother marking the eggs and letting the hen set but can’t remember what to do leading up to this so all the chicks hatch at once!

You can collect the eggs each day, and put them in the house or cellar (not refrigerator, not incubator) until a hen goes broody. Use a pencil to write the date on each egg so you can easily tell how old they are. (For hatching it's best if they are no more than one week old when the hen starts to set. For eating, they're good a while longer than that.)

Leave a few fake eggs in the nestbox, so a hen has something to sit on if she wants to--no danger of fake eggs rotting if you just leave them for months :D

When a hen goes broody, take away the fake eggs and give her real ones. If you put them all under her at the same time, they should all hatch about the same time.

Do not give her any eggs on other days, and don't let other hens add eggs to the nest (either pen the broody away from the others, or check each day to take out any newly-laid eggs.) Eggs that are added later would also hatch later, and you're right that you don't want that.

(Recognizing a broody hen: on the nest all day and all night, but comes off briefly to eat and drink and maybe have a quick dust bath, then goes back to the nest.)
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom