Incubating vs hatching, small number of eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by hensonly, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
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    HI,

    I've toyed with the idea of hatching a few of my eggs at some point. I can't spend a ton of money on an incubator, and I don't really have a good place to put one where it would be safe from our many dogs knocking it over. Well, I could put it upstairs but it's not well heated up there and the temp fluctuates because we heat with wood and the fire burns down pretty low at night... I have gold sex links who show no interest in setting. I'd be willing to get a couple of hens from breeds that tend to go broody. I could put any hen's eggs under them, right? I don't want to do lots of eggs at a time, nor to do it often. More just to keep some young birds in my laying flock as the older birds, well, get older! They're just turning two years this spring, so I'm not in a panic about it.


    Any opinions?
     
  2. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

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    One or two silkies, or cochins should fit your needs. Broody boogers. Sizzles also brood at the drop of a hat. If your house temps aren't steady it can be awful trying to keep temps in the lower cost incubators stable. But with broodies you get to brood/hatch only when they want to do it. So that takes some patience but works really well. Of course I have two idiot broodies who are brooding now, well four but two already have chicks on the ground and they have made it this far despite the freeze here. I keep telling them winter kills chicks, they don't listen.
     
  3. rosaline

    rosaline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Have you a big cupbaord you can put the bator into. I nearly put mine into an airing cupbaord I have. Its nice and warm in there, unfortunatly I couldnt fit my bator on the floor of mine becouse of pipes. So mine is now in the living room,I have to keep the heating on all the time as I dont want the temp to drop.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  4. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    upstate NY
    Quote:Yeah, I lean toward letting a hen do the work she is meant to do rather than an incubator watched over by an ignorant human (me). But I live in upstate NY, so my winters are maybe a bit extreme for silkies... what about the cochins or sizzles? how are they in winter? I've heard that bantams tend to be more broody than standards... is that true? or only for certain breeds of bantams, like certain standard breeds are broodier than others.


    Would I be better to try to find a couple of adult hens that are known to be broody, instead of raising chicks and just hoping they turned out to be broody? Do hens lose the inclination to brood as they age and egg production slows?

    Any info is greatly appreciated.
     
  5. quailbrain

    quailbrain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always had luck with silkies going broody... is that something you might be able to do. they are much better than an incubator for what you sound like you want. Cheaper, less maintenance, less electrical, etc.
     
  6. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

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    I've got silkies and sizzles running around out in the snow today. It's been in the teens and 20s for more than a week now. Not typical for us, but as long as they have somewhere warm and dry to get to, most of them do fine regardless of weather. Large Cochins brood, bantam cochins brood lots, silkies, sizzles, some of my Delawares do, some of my Plymouth Rocks do. It just kind of depends on individuals. More cochins and silkies and sizzles brood than do my other standards. Seramas do too but they're tiny and they need a heated coop in winter. Or at least a heated area to get into.
     
  7. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    upstate NY
    Thanks for all your input...could I house the smaller breeds with my gold sex links? Bearing in mind that I have two roos...would the smaller/less feathered birds take a beating from the boys' spurs? And just the thought of my monster roos jumping on a littler hen makes me cringe. Or would they need separate accomodations? And if I house them together, and separate them when they are brooding, how hard is it to re-introduce the brooders after the chicks are older? I guess this gets into the other Index topic, Raising Baby Chicks...but can anyone advise?

    And, by the way, walkswithdog, mine are Australian Shepherds, not Austrian Sheepdogs, not collie mixes...and they also HERD - NOT "go after sheep"!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I have all standards so no specific experience with bantam hens and full sized roosters. I've seen reports on here both ways, sometimes a problem and often not. The hen lays on the ground during mating. It's not like the hen is standing on her legs and supporting the rooster but instead the weight is spread out. In my opinion, it is likely the technique of the rooster that counts more than his size, but size can magnify bad technique. Part of it is if the hen resists the rooster too. If he has to force her it will be rougher than if she squats properly. Both have to follow corrrect technique. Even roosters of the same breed are normally quite a bit bigger than the hen.

    I recommend letting the hen brood in the coop and raising the chicks with the flock to avoid integration issues. I can put a broody with her eggs in a wire cage with enough room for a nest, feed, water, and space for her to go poo without the other hens being able to lay with her. After they hatch, I'll turn the hen and chicks loose to be raised with the flock. I do believe a big consideration for this is how much room you have. If space is tight, then the risks of doing it this way go up, but with my set-up, I think this is less than the risks of possible reintegration issues. There are risks both ways.

    I'll give you links where this is discussed by me and by others. How you do it is an individual decision and the same answer is not right for all of us. Good luck whichever way you decide.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

    Raise with flock? thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=215937&p=1
     

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