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Hatching chicks using a hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TheTwoRoos, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

    Sep 25, 2015
    I have done this twice, each time I have learned to be patient and many other things.My last hatch was last year,with a 4 year old hen who legit broods once every year.She was a great mother.But,I think she may have incidentally stepped on the bantam mix and killed him

    So this year we are pretty sure.of using.our favorite bantam named Little Bit to hatch.She legit is awlays broody.She sits,molts,has a week or 2 of laying then sits agin,this is literally a cycle that has went on since she begun layinh,maybe a year now.So we dont het too mnay eggs from her so why not use her for a purpose.She is friendly and obviously wants babies,so makes perfect broody.

    I plan on letting her hatch our cochins eggs, possibly a few large eggs.My question is,how many eggs can a small hen like her hold?Can we use older eggs from a few days ago in the kitchen,or are they no longer good?Figured they would be bacuse everyone seems to bring home eggs and hatch them.I would definitely rather bigger hens eggs because they are with two roosters who continuously mate them,so chances are 95% of the eggs will be fertile.My last hatch had nearly all fertile eggs.I do excpect the cochin bantams to have fertile eggs but they just started laying,although the cockerel keeps them pretty well mated so we will see what happens

    Can I possibly have her hatch with other hens?How do you get broodies to bond in such ways?She is so distance from our flock,dont know how that would play out.

    Any other tips

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    How many eggs a hen will/can cover depends on her size and the individual. There is no one finite answer to that. If you see any eggs peeking out from under her, there are too many eggs. They must all stay covered all the time (except for when she comes off to eat, drink, defecate and stretch).
    I set eggs up to 10 days old but the fresher the egg, the better the hatchability.
    When a hen is mated once, it will take time for the sperm to reach the infundibulum (where ovum fertilization occurs).
    Usually not until the second or third egg will they be fertile.
    But from then, expect her eggs to be fertile for the next 3 weeks without additional matings. Chickens, like many birds, can hold semen at body temperature for a long time.

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