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How many eggs can a hen hatch?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Newchickenguy, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Newchickenguy

    Newchickenguy In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2012
    I plan on letting my hens go broody. If I have New Hampshire hens, how many eggs could one safely hatch. Also how many eggs could a Cochin hatch. Thanks!
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    My broody hens usually hatched 12 eggs at a time, but it depends on the size of the eggs. Just give them as many as they can cover comfortably.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Is the cochin large fowl or bantam? It depends on the size of the eggs and the size of the hen. A bantam cannot cover as many eggs as a large fowl hen can.
  4. Brookliner

    Brookliner Songster

    Mar 18, 2012
    Southern New Hampshire
    I have only ever put 7 eggs at once under my Bantam Cochin and 6 eggs under my Bantam Ameracuna hens. In this nest I had 5 eggs but only 3 hatched. These are Bantam chicks.
  5. The old meaning for a setting of eggs is 15 eggs. This is especially so if the hen is hovering her own eggs. If the hen is a large breed and the eggs are from a small or bantam breed, then more can be hovered by the same hen. The reverse is true when trying to hatch an ostrich egg under a quail, you will need more quails[​IMG] Too many eggs invites broken eggs and that can ruin every egg in the nest.

    Also don't forget that hatchability starts decreasing the day the egg is laid, and 21 day old eggs hatch 0% of the time (almost) If you want to hatch under a hen, it is best to store all the eggs in the dark & at 50-55 degrees and 70-80% humidity before you then give them back to your setting hen. This way they all will pip and hatch together and you won't find a hen with one live chick that hatched out early and 14 chicks in the nest that got chilled before they were dry and died. Oh yes, don't forget to turn hatching eggs that you are storing twice every day, that's very important.
  6. Pennoppom

    Pennoppom In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2013
    Littleton, co
    To your point, I need 1 good size Buff Orpington to raise approximately 15 polish chicks. My flock was decimated this year by a fox and my hubby and I want to rebuild with only polish. I live in the city and am not able to handle roosters. So, I've found a hatchery that will sell female only Polish hens, but I have to order at least 15. I have 2 hens, but one of them is extremely aggressive and I don' t want her to raise them. That leaves sweet little Pancake to brood the whole order.

    So...Can she do it? She's a great mom, and as far as know hens will take chicks up to 3 days old. She took some store bought chicks last year, so I'm not worried about her accepting them, I'm worried about how many will be too many.
  7. tinychickfarm12

    tinychickfarm12 Hatching

    Jul 8, 2016
    I currently have a buff Orpington that I had laying on 15 eggs and she could cover them no problem and so far has hatched 9 of them buff's can cover quiet a few eggs they make great moms....this Is my hen that is laying on the eggs the only thing I had to do is create a separate cage because one of my other hens was trying to steal the eggs ...[​IMG][​IMG]

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