Incubate? Plz help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by backyardflock1, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. backyardflock1

    backyardflock1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, my hens have recently started laying fertile eggs. I caught one tonight sitting on a non-fertile egg I put in there to get her broody. I have been taking the fertile eggs and storing them in a 50-60 degree area. Now that my hen is broody should I take those eggs and put them in the coop or should I wait and keep taking the eggs out and prepping them to go into the incubator? Incubator or Broody Hen? Plz help. Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's really a personal choice. Some people prefer to use an incubator so they can watch the process and not have to worry about a broody hen decide she's done and abandon the eggs. Others say the only way is to let the hen hatch them out on her own.
     
  3. backyardflock1

    backyardflock1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is incubator more reliable? Also wouldn't the chicks be more attached to you if they see you first? If the hen did incubate them would she take care of them a little or would she hatch them and then not care?
     
  4. SilverDuck284

    SilverDuck284 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If the hen is mature, or a particularly broody breed, or you're relatively new to incubating, I'd give her a shot. Assuming she stays on the eggs, she would be much more reliable and accurate than an incubator. If it doesn't work out, you can always collect more eggs and try again. Nature knows best, and if you have a hen willing, that's the best way to go, imo. She will brood and care for them until they can survive on their own. Chicks don't imprint the way ducklings and wild birds do. As long as you handle them and associate yourself with good thingd (treats) they will be friendly.
     
  5. backyardflock1

    backyardflock1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first hatch (and my only to this date) got a 5/7. I feel as thought the incubator might be safer due to the fact that it's winter right now and outside is cold (but we do provide heating to the chickens of course). I am thinking I might use the incubator a 2nd time and then when I am more experienced, I will try using a broody hen. Does this sound like a good plan?
     
  6. backyardflock1

    backyardflock1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    also, any treat recommendations?[​IMG]
     
  7. bittychicks

    bittychicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Yea since it is winter the incubator might be your best bet right now. She sounds like she just went broody, so if you do decide to go that way make sure she is committed, because I've had hens that acted broody, but then three or so days in either quit, or started eating the eggs. Five out of seven is good for your first hatch! You might already give these to your chickens, but they love meal worms as a snack.
     
  8. backyardflock1

    backyardflock1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 22, 2014
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    I am looking into getting some on happyhentreats.com but they don't ship and stores aren't extremely close. Also how long can I store the eggs before the hatch rate goes down? 7-10 days?
     
  9. bittychicks

    bittychicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a chicken book that says you shouldn't notice a difference in hatch rates when you store up to six days, you can store past that, up to ten but the chance of those eggs hatching will go down. Make sure you keep them in a stable cool environment about 55 degrees, and rotate the eggs.
     
  10. bittychicks

    bittychicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Where do you get your chicken food? They might sell meal worms there, or you could go on your local craigslist in farm and garden and see if anyone locally is raising them.
     

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