Hen or incubator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by nyrunner, Dec 12, 2015.

  1. nyrunner

    nyrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm a newbie when it comes to incubating eggs I've had chickens for a while just no roosters. Do question I know this is probably dependent on the breed but should I let me hens sit on them or incubate them. I know I'll probably have more success using an incubator but could anyone tell me the pro's and cons of each
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    There is a whole lot of variation in how you can use a broody hen. Some people isolate them from the flock as they are incubating the eggs, some don’t. Some people isolate the hen and chicks from the flock when she is raising them, some don’t. Some people take the chicks away when they hatch and raise them themselves. Most don’t. I’m not going to get into all that.

    In general, a broody hen does a better job of incubating than people do. You are dealing with a living animal so stuff can happen, but normally she will hatch more eggs and do a really good job of raising the chicks.

    The big problem with a broody hen is that you have no control over when or even if one will go broody. You can’t make a hen go broody. If one goes broody she does it on her own schedule. Many hens will never go broody. So if you want control over when you hatch chicks you need an incubator.

    Whether there is a rooster around or not has no effect on a hen going broody. The only reason you need a rooster is for fertile eggs.
     
  3. nyrunner

    nyrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    And what kind of incubator is best as far as it turns the eggs and everything that isn't over $120
     
  4. nyrunner

    nyrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    Ya I know about hens going broody and all that I'm no beginner when it comes to that I have a couple buff orpingtons and they will go broody once in a while which I usually fix quite quickly. But thank you for your help and input I really do appreciate it a bunch.
     
  5. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy nyrunner

    I have only had hatches with a broody hen and do not own an incubator so cannot really comment on both sides of the scale but some of my thoughts are:

    A broody hen does all the work … pretty much set and forget. No issues with temperature spikes, humidity etc; no egg turning [some incubators will do that for you].

    When the chicks hatch, no need for a brooder [unless she is a bad mumma]; she will raise, educate and protect them.

    There is a chance your broody, if a newbie to the whole hatching thing, might leave the nest but then your incubator could fail also.

    There is also the chance that, if left in the coop with the rest of the flock, eggs could get damaged which is probably not going to happen in an incubator.

    A broody hen on the nest is an open invitation for lice and/or mites as she is a nice, constant source of food and warmth and again, not going to happen in an incubator.

    With an incubator you can see pipping, zipping, hatching etc .. dependent on the broody, you might not get to see the little ones until they are a couple of days old [​IMG]

    With a broody hen you are limited to the number of eggs you can put under her .. depending on the size or number of incubators, you can set however many eggs your heart desires.

    A broody hen can lose weight and condition while on the nest .. an incubator will not [​IMG]

    You can turn an incubator to ‘On’ .. you cannot turn a hen to ‘Broody’ [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  6. nyrunner

    nyrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much this is the reason I love backyard chicken everyone is just so very helpful.
     
  7. BigRedRoo

    BigRedRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    This is perfect pro and con list.
     
  8. nyrunner

    nyrunner Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes once again thanks everyone but could someone talk to me more about incubators
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    What do you want to know about incubators?
     
  10. kyzerc

    kyzerc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you can get a little giant from tractor and supply,walmart and many other places.with turner and all,its around $100.00,bare model is about $45.00,and that's what I used this year.I just bought a gennis 1588.with all options turner and fan #184.00.it,s auto temp controlled,I havent used it yet.But you cant go wrong with the little giant,Just get a good thermonter.Miller makes the little giant,and they have been good with warrenty www.miller-mfg.com also pull up gqf incubators.Im new my self,havent done it for 50 years. Every body forgive my spelling,ive been out of colledge 40 years.,and I am half blind
     

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