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Hatching question...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Silkie75, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Silkie75

    Silkie75 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2012
    I just got my first 2 Silkie eggs (one this a.m. and one 2 days ago). SO EXCITED! I would really love to hatch some but the more I read on it, it sounds kind of difficult! Another thing, I don't have an incubator (pretty pricey) and wondered if I can hatch them naturally. One of them cracked when it fell so I read about how to tell if they are fertile (by looking at the white spot on the yolk) and this one egg certainly seems to be. Yeah! So, I'm assuming I'll be getting more eggs. How do I know which Silkies are laying them??? I don't want to have to separate them constantly. I have 4 pullets and 1 rooster. Can I just leave the eggs in the coop and they will hatch in 21 days or so?? Or do I definitely need an incubator. Also, it can get pretty cold here in NY. Can the eggs still hatch when it's cold (if I did them naturally)? Thank you!!

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Congrats on the eggs! Hatching eggs are not difficult. As long as you do what you need to do to keep the eggs in the right environment they'll hatch and if there's problems there's usually good solutions [​IMG] Here's a great incubation article that you can look through to get an idea:


    It's not easy to tell which hen are laying which egg unless you watch them constantly. Some people put food colouring in their chicken's vents and colour code the eggs to see which hen laid which egg. So if you really want to know...

    If you leave some eggs in the nest boxes the hens may go broody, or not. Silkies are one of the broodiest breeds, so it may work for you, but it really depends on the individual hen. Give them a chance though, before getting an incubator. They may take awhile though, if they just started laying.

    As for the weather. If you incubate the eggs the cold won't be an issue, as you will be controlling the temperature in the incubator. If you leave them for hens to hatch it will be better to keep the eggs you collect at room temperature and then swap the "bait" eggs in the nest box (if you're using any) for fresh eggs. It's better not to store hatching eggs for too long though. But with 4 hens you should have a fairly constant supply of fresh eggs.

    Hopefully one of your girls will go broody for you so you can get some babies!
  3. Impress

    Impress Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    You can't tell who is laying what egg without separating them. Just leaving them in the coop won't get you chicks, you need one of your hens to be broody so she will sit on them and hatch them. With silkies that shouldn't be a problem for you!

    If it is getting really cold where you are, your hens will probably not get broody. And you risk any eggs being left in the coop freezing and busting, or just getting cold enough where they will not be viable to hatch. If you want a girl to go broody, your best bet is to set up a nest for them with fake eggs in it. Gather your eggs daily and keep them on your counter to be used, but where they will be available if one of your hens goes broody. You will know you have a broody when she won't get off the eggs, not even at night to sleep. If she keeps that up for a few days, swap out the fake eggs for the real ones, and three weeks later you should have some chicks.
  4. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
  5. Silkie75

    Silkie75 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2012
    Thanks everyone so much for all of the information! So much to learn! I got my 3rd egg today~ BUT... there was a hole in it. I'm thinking it was fragile and they pecked at it. No predators have been in the coop and none of the inside was missing. I'm going to get some oyster shell to help with the hardness of the eggshell (I read this helps.)

    Impress- thanks for going in depth to describe how to spot if they are broody. I don't think they are right now. I have one egg in there (the 1st egg) and none of them are interested in sitting on it. What is the reason for the fake eggs?? Why not just keep real ones in there? They are so small that I'm not depending on them for eating. Would that be the only reason to take them out and put on the counter and replace with fake eggs?

    Sumi- thanks too for all of the wonderful info!

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