Incubator or Broody Hen -- which should I use???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by honeydoll, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    I have a broody hen, she has been broody for months. I have got some call duck eggs, and wonder if I should go with my broody or my incubator. Which would you recommend. I'ver heard call ducks are very hard to hatch. Really torn on what would be best. I would like opinions. THanks a ton.
  2. SeaHen

    SeaHen Songster 9 Years

    Mar 14, 2009
    Springfield, OR
    Definitely go with the broody! I bought mine 8 silkie eggs because she's been so determined to hatch something (14 days to go!). I've heard the same thing about call ducks being difficult to hatch, so why not maximize their chances by opting for the natural route?
  3. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    I've done both.
    Pros of a broody-no electric bill.
    Pros of an incubator-for control freaks like me, I can CONSTANLY monitor things. [​IMG]
    Call duck eggs are pretty darn hard to hatch-myself, I think I would put them in the incubator.
    Good luck whatever you decide(Call Ducks are WONDERFUL [​IMG]).
  4. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    let the hen sit and use the incubator as back up just in case..[​IMG]

    Ps my Broddie's have hatch many duck eggs and i have just set some goose eggs under one to see if they are fertile.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  5. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Use the broody, but if she's been broody for months I'd keep the bator ready to go in case she gives up on the eggs. I'd also give her a scrambled egg every day or every other day to help her keep her strength up. They can really lose condition when they stay broody like that and it's often hard to tell how much weight they've lost since they've got that whole puffy feather broody thing going on.

    Another plus <insert evil laugh here> is that it's hysterical when the ducklings discover water--My Black Australorp lost her mind when "her" Ruen ducklings discovered the creek that runs thru the barnyard. She was sure that they were in mortal danger, but no matter how much she squawked at them they wouldn't leave the water.
  6. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Quote:That is so funny. Poor thing, she was probably so confused when they did fine on the water. Good thing she didn't decide to try it.
  7. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Quote:Good advice about the scrambled eggs. Ya, I know, she was getting pretty rough but we put her dish with a little calf manna, beside her in the nesting box. No matter what, even if we take the eggs, she always goes and sits. They are faithful little mommies aren't they?!
  8. honeydoll

    honeydoll Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    I have another question. What is the maximum number of eggs one hen can sit? Do you take the broody out or keep her in the main coop with the other chickens? My main question is how many can she sit at one time?
  9. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    She should be able to cover 6-8 duck eggs, or about a dozen chicken eggs, if she's a standard breed, & not a Bantam.

    I hatch mine in with all the other chickens & turkeys. Sometimes someone else will babysit for her.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2010
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You might read this thread about isolating a broody. People successfully do it both ways and there are risks both ways. It is a personal decision. This thread does discuss what you need to do and what some of the problems might be.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread

    I don't have a secific number. If she can comfortably cover all of them, she should be OK.

    Good luck!

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