Hatching eggs the o'natural way!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jashdon, May 5, 2008.

  1. Jashdon

    Jashdon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Snohomish, WA
    I am thinking about letting one of our hens hatch some eggs this summer. I am new to chickens let alone hatching eggs. Is this something I can just "let happen" or will it take some intervention or planning on my part. I am thinking about converting a dog house into a brooder house for the hen and eggs/chicks to oversummer in. Is this a good idea or will the hen want to hatch in her regular coop/run? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I have hatched chicks that way, and yes, seperating her into a doghouse would be a great idea. There isn't nearly as much work I found, momma takes care of them, no heat is required, and all you have to do is supply feed and water...
     
  3. chicken_boy_Kurt

    chicken_boy_Kurt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    When I tryed to move my broody orpington she would not sit (of course my chickens are psycotic). So she was off them for so long that I had to start her over (but she was fine to sit in her nest box). If she had just sat she would have fluffy chicks right now, but noooo she had to be all wierd about it. Sorry about that. So to answer your question, the hen usually plans it herself, and that story is my experience, so you might be able to move yours. Hope this helped.
     
  4. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2007
    Massachusetts
    I have my first broody hen right now and have her alone in a doghouse while she is sitting away and hopefully will give me my first batch on non-hatchery chicks from my feed store. Three of my small coops are just that, doghouses. Then I have two other small "chicken" coops but hostly they are only a little bigger in size. I added perches and nestboxes and they are only in there at night to sleep anyway. They keep nice and warm in the winter. Every year just about I get chicks and it can be alot of work cleaning the cage etc. If I was home all day it would not be a problem but I am not so I am really looking forward to momma hen doing it this year.
    If you have a broody hen I would go for it! Out of all my hens I only have one broody!
     
  5. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sometimes the broody will not be too happy about being moved once she starts to set. One thing that seems to work pretty well is to move her and her eggs at night. You might set up her normal nesting box so that it can be picked up and moved without you having to handle the eggs, etc. Maybe put something like a cardboard box in the nesting box, then put your regular nesting material in and let your girls lay like they normally would. Then you could just pick up the cardboard box with the hen/eggs, etc in it and move it to the doghouse once enough eggs are laid.

    Lori
     
  6. Jashdon

    Jashdon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Snohomish, WA
    Is there a clear indication of when a hen goes broody? Several of our hens like to sit on eggs, whether it be their eggs or not but then at other times they just let the eggs sit there. I'm not sure if the hens that decide to sit on the eggs are broody or not because if I take the egg or eggs away they continue to lay. I seem to remember people saying that when they go broody they stop laying. Is this correct?
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Generally, I call a hen "broody" once she sits on a nest for 3 days straight and does not go to roost at night. Some breeds are more prone to broody than others. Not much you can do to make a hen go broody. It's all hormonal. Mine have all hatched their chicks, albeit I only let them have one egg, in the coop with the rest. I don't recommend this though if the hen is with a larger brood as she may not be able to protect them all from the others.

    Best of luck. I have two hens who love to go broody but I haven't gotten it in me to give them up yet. Maybe this august though they will go up for sale if none of your birds go broody.
     
  8. newchik

    newchik Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2007
    I read in one of the links someone posted that your hen is likely to be broody also if she lets out this nasty "squwaaaaak" when you go to check for eggs.
     
  9. Jashdon

    Jashdon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Snohomish, WA
    Hey Silkiechicken, the Rhode Island Red hen that you sold to me seems like she might be a good candidate. She likes to sit on eggs and when I try to take the eggs from her she pecks at me and squaks like crazy. I don't have any mature roosters right now though. About what age do roosters start mating with their flock?
     
  10. moms_pantry

    moms_pantry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    I have had quite a few hens over the years that have hatched eggs. When you go to the nest to get the eggs she will peck at you and make a loud screeching sound.

    I have tried to remove my hens from the others and into a smaller area so as not to have other hens laying eggs with her, but haven't been successful. After I move them and their eggs they will not sit on them. I guess because that is not where she laid them. You will know when she is broody.

    I have a hen that just hatched 5 eggs. If we got anywhere near her when she was setting, she fluffed her feathers out and screeched. She is a very good mom and will defend her little ones. She has a long spur on one leg. I've had her about 6-7 years.
     

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