I don't want a rooster, but.....


12 Years
Sep 16, 2010
west michigan
I would like to let one of the hens hatch and raise a brood. I could borrow a rooster from the neighbor, but is it possible to purchase fertilized (hopefully!) eggs, put the clutch in a nest and expect one of the girls sit and hatch?

I have 11 new layers along with my 2 2 1/2 yr old girls. Neither of the older hens has ever become broody. Does that have to do with my collecting eggs everyday? All but 2 of the new ones are laying now so don't know how they will be.

I know you can purchase eggs to incubate yourself so maybe you could just try a bunch. Any thoughts on this?
You can buy fake ceramic eggs and leave a clutch full in a nest box. They won't go bad and if a hen takes to being broody then you could switch in real eggs. I would not buy fertile eggs without an already broody hen. It would probably end in a waste of eggs, unless if you had a backup incubator.
Thanks. If I just leave a half dozen unfertilized eggs in a nest will that encourage broodiness? I could mark them so I can dispose of them if that doesn't work. I just don't know what makes a hen broody.
Hormones and genetics makes a hen broody, nothing else. Some folks believe leaving eggs in the nest can make a hen go broody, and swear by it, but I strongly suspect their hens would have gone broody anyway without that step.

Really, there is NOTHING you or I or anyone else can do to MAKE a hen go broody. We may trigger the urge in one which would do it anyway.... But I know many people who have NEVER had a single broody hen, even from breeds "known" for the trait.

On the other hand, I have had a three year old hatchery production red - called a RIR but she's nowhere near the appearance of a heritage RIR - go broody earlier this year for the very first time.

A local feed store employee gives my number out to people who ask her where they can get fertile eggs to give to their hens, now and then, if they have one which goes broody and they have no rooster. I sell fertile "mutt chicken" eggs to the for the same price as "eating eggs" and sometimes can even provide all bantam eggs, in addition to or in place of LF eggs. It's kinda nifty to know I have GrandChicks in other folks' flocks.

You still have to wait for a hen to go broody, though.... Then give her the fertile eggs.
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