Incubator or broody?

standardbanty

Songster
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
260
0
129
Maryland
I have tried to hatch several dozen eggs from a breeder down in flordia. I have stuck 2 dozen in the bator and 1 dozen under broody hen. About 10 out of two dozen in bator developed and 5 hatched. My broody hens kept pooping and getting eggs dirty . One devloped and dont know if it will hatch. I have a welsummer hen that dosnt leave her box for anything and I think she will get them all dirty becasue it seems that my broodies dont get off their nest to relive themselves. But I am wooried if I stick them under broody that she will cause backterial infection and kill them. I am worried that if I lose power here in MD I will lose eggs due to power loss. What should I do ? Incubator or broody?
 

hoppy

I'm not all fluff
12 Years
May 5, 2007
5,276
38
293
central maine
this is what I do.
put some under the broody and daily make her get off the nest to go eat and releive herself. if she's been setting a few days, mine will go back on the nest after taking care of business.

if the power goes out- few options:
cover the incubator with a blanket, this will hold the heat in, or 2nd option, put the eggs under a broody until the power is back on. or 3rd
you could also invest in a battery backup power source like computers use.
good luck
 

standardbanty

Songster
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
260
0
129
Maryland
How long do you think the incubator can go without power with it being covered with blankets. How big is your broody pen or do you keep her in her coop?
 

Dirt Road

Songster
11 Years
Nov 9, 2008
295
3
121
Southern Idaho
Something's amiss with your broody hens! While one will sometimes have the problem you mention, it is not normal. Properly managed broodies are usually very reliable, with only few exceptions. Some breeds, do have rather poor reputations, but to have several with the same problems would indicate something else going on. See if you can figure out what's wrong there, and that should ease at least some of your concerns.

I prefer at least a 4ft. x 8ft. space for a broody hen though I've used smaller spaces when there was no choice. The length is more important than the width, as long as she can stretch her wings without interference.

Eggs can last for hours without electricity. While that is surely not something to be casual about, I've had them hatch after hens were off nearly the entire day, and incubators were without power for longer than 6 hours.

I'm just not sure which is best for shipped eggs. My best hatch has been under a broody, but those were also shipped the shortest distance. I'm inclined to vote for the broody, but maybe???????

Jim
 

The Wolf Queen

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
3,003
48
211
Albuquerque, NM
Do to the fact that I'm too lazy to mess with a bator I ALWAYS use broodies. My first hatch was a 100% hatch. The 2nd as well then hatch 3 I had random problems. Those were all EE crosses and only 5 of 9 hatched. It had been 10 but my psycho non broody squished one. Anyways broodies are easier and I always use one or 2 or a few.
 

walkswithdog

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 17, 2008
4,639
44
276
DC Region
Until you straighten out the broody situation and get at least one hen with predictable results... incubator. No brainer really.

A good broody, a proven successful broody who keeps clean and hatches and broods calmly is one thing. Fis your set up and your habits and your hens, then you can brood.

What you've got right now isn't an acceptable broody situation. Incubate. Power outtages happen, cooling for part of a day isn't all that detrimental. There are no guarantees in hatching except that bad broodies are usually worse than hatching yourself.
 

standardbanty

Songster
11 Years
Nov 8, 2008
260
0
129
Maryland
THis one welsumer hen has been on her nest for about 5 days and there is no poop in it. Do you think she is getting out to do her buisnees. Or is she holding it? I want to think she does and she will be a great broody. What do you think?
 

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