Hatching eggs via natural incubation

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tandc93, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. tandc93

    tandc93 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am a complete newbie to chickens. We have about a dozen RIR hens and 3 roosters (not on purpose...) that we've raised since a day old. They have been laying for about 4 months now. The children want to hatch a few chicks this spring. I don't have a clue how to even begin. I've tried looking for the real basic basics on the forum, but they all seem to start with hatching. I need to know what to do to get to that stage. How do you know which ones to leave? Do you just pick half a dozen and leave them in one box and mark them? Then, from what I seem to be reading, you candle them after a few days to see if they're fertile? I don't know if any of our hens are broody. How do you know before hand? Is this a good time to do it?

    If you could direct me to where it's discussed on here, I would be so grateful. My husband might not be... [​IMG] but I would be!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
     
  2. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    First of all... [​IMG]

    A good book to help you understand...Chickens for Dummies. Seriously. I bought it...it helped me immensely when I was just starting. I haven't raised RIR, my thought is they aren't broody to begin with (someone else can step in here), so you may never be able to hatch naturally unless you get a broody breed. Cochins and Silkies come to mind.

    If you know your eggs are fertile, you have two options. Have a friend hatch them for you, or buy yourself an incubator. My kids got such a kick out of the hatching eggs when we were first doing this. Of course, now they could care less! [​IMG]

    Keep asking your questions and search the threads.
     
  3. tandc93

    tandc93 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! I just hopped over and ordered it via kindle! I know what I'm going to be reading tonight while Dh is off hunting.

    Is there any harm in trying to leave some? I mean, other than the handful of eggs you use to try.
     
  4. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Quote:I might not be understanding your question. Do you want to leave some under the hens? There is nothing wrong with that if your girls are sitting on them. Otherwise, it's pointless. A broody hen usually stays on the nest most of the day/night and gets off just to eat and drink. Also, most broodies will growl at you and be mad (give you the stink eye) that you want to take their babies...they may even try to peck you.

    My silkies have only been broody once...and they lured all the girls to lay eggs in their nest. I had 18 eggs under one silkie in one day! She was not a happy camper when I took them from her!

    Edited to add...I really want a Kindle!
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  5. Cranman

    Cranman Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah like Muggs said, no point to leave eggs if there's not a hen that will sit on them for 3 weeks! From what I have seen once a hen decides she wants to hatch her eggs she is then called "broody" and may stick to the job and hopefully make chicks!
     
  6. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You can borrow book from the library or read online. There are plenty information available.
     
  7. pkw

    pkw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had 2 out of 7 of my partridge rock hens go broody on me. Only one of those 2 is sitting now.
     
  8. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Trust me on this one: You WILL know a broody when you have one. They hiss, bite, kick, holler and scream at you when you try to take the eggs, and they are constantly poofed up.

    As for incubation, your eggs will be good after they have been laying for a month or two.
     

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