I want babies!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Jsto, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    I blame you guys! I've been wanting to hatch eggs since I first started this whole chicken thing last spring, even before my girls were anywhere near laying age. I'm thinking I want to go ahead and let one of my girls hatch some eggs this spring and am just wanting to get all the info I need before hand. (Please forgive the length of this post, lol!)

    I'm wanting to hatch of few of my girls' eggs, but will probably also purchase some eggs (am wanting Araucanas or maybe Polish). The problem is, with my coop right now, I'm not sure I can add more than a couple chicks. I think, anyway. My coop is 8x8 (give or take a few random inches) and I've got 6 chickens at the minute. I think its 10sq.ft/bird, yes? Oh, I don't know - it's been so long since I built the coop and was learning about what they needed lol.

    Back to my original question, considering problems that can arise in hatching and the possibility of getting many more boys than girls, how many eggs would I want to set? I am not worried about finding homes for those I cannot keep - I've met quite a few 'chicken folk' in my area who would be happy to add to their flock.

    As for who I let go broody, does pecking order factor into it at all? My little Silkie has tried going broody on me many a time recently so I was thinking of letting her be mom, but she's rather low on the pecking order. Would she be able to keep the other girls away from the chicks?

    I don't have a separate area built for a broody hen: is it absolutely necessary to keep her away from the others? I could bring her into the garage, but I'm not sure that's an ideal environment. Something could be built or purchased for her, I suppose. Any ideas here would be very welcome.

    When the chicks hatch, I would love to be able to see them with mom, following her around the yard, peeking out from under her, and just generally being adorable. Yet I've had first hand experience with the difference between chicks that were fawned over and handled to those who weren't. I got my Silkie when she was around 4 weeks old and no matter how hard I've tried, she's still nowhere near as friendly as my others. Should I brood the chicks myself? Or can I work with my hen to get close to them and acclimate them to me?

    I'm feeling a bit muddled with all of these questions, so I'm sure there's something I've forgotten to ask. Any other information you feel is important would be great.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this gigantic post. I'm sure I'll be better with the chicks this time around (read: less paranoia), but I've never hatched anything in my life. I think it'll be a very long 21 days!
     
  2. Josie

    Josie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 3, 2008
    California
    So you have 5 questions:

    1. Is a 8x8 coop large enough for 8 chickens?

    I think that is a little small. This thread is what FAQ references

    2. How many eggs should I set to get 2 more pullets?

    3. Does pecking order effect brooding and vice versa?

    4. Do broody hens have to be seperate?

    5. Can I take chicks away from a broody hen?

    The rest of the questions I would be guessing on so I won't answer them.
    Wow you must be really excited, keep us updated.
    You might have more luck getting the answers if you have less questions per post, that way you can get the experts on each question.
    Good luck!
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Ill answer those questions for you.

    1. Is a 8x8 coop large enough for 8 chickens?

    I would put up to a dozen birds in that size coop, and have had that many. Anymore makes it too hard to clean and a bit crowded, IMO.

    2. How many eggs should I set to get 2 more pullets?
    If you're ME, a dozen, LOL.

    3. Does pecking order effect brooding and vice versa?
    Nope, not that I can tell.

    4. Do broody hens have to be seperate?
    Probably would be best so chicks don't get hurt and no hens lay eggs in the nest of the broody when she gets off to do her business every day.


    5. Can I take chicks away from a broody hen?
    Sure you can, but you'll miss seeing a mother hen raise her young, a real joy.
     
  4. Jsto

    Jsto Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thanks Josie for organizing and colour coding my questions [​IMG] I clumped them all together so I wasn't crowding the board with multiple posts.

    And also, as always, thank you Cynthia for the help. I just found a raised coop for $85 on Craig's list and am going to take a look at it over the weekend. Finger's crossed it's something I can use in some way, then I won't have to worry so much about how many to keep. Don't think I want (well, want is probably not the right term here lol) more than 12 chickens total, for now. I'm already swimming in eggs. We'll see though. The best laid chick plans, eh? [​IMG]

    I'm thinking I'll probably set more than a dozen, lol. Even if I give most of them away, I just love all those babies running about. Probably not wise condidering I foresee a huge problem giving them away LOL. Thanks again for the help!
     

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