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Incubator - Required Or Optional

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by DAT, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. DAT

    DAT Hatching

    Mar 26, 2009
    Southeastern Vermont
    Hi Everyone,

    If I get a rooster for my hens, do I need to buy an incubator, etc.? Can't I just let the hens do their thing?

    If I do it "the natural way", is there a way to have some hens on hatching duty and others still laying? Or is this a pain in the neck, and a good reason to...get an icubator? [​IMG]

    Thanks for helping a beginner,

  2. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing

    Oct 16, 2008
    You do not have to get a bator..

    You can let your hens do the hatching..

    However, you will not have any control of which hen will set or when she will decide to set..

    in fact it could be that none or all of the hens will go broody..

    you can hatch a lot more eggs with a bator..

    pick your own poison..
  3. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    I notice your signature says you have RIRs. I've had Rhodies for many years and never had one go "broody", which is what you need in order for the hens to do your hatching. Nor have I ever found a way to "make" one go broody on que. Some other breeds DO seem to go broody at the drop of a hat. Silkies are good broodies, for example. But with Rhodies, the only way to consistently raise chicks that I've ever found is to hatch my own.


  4. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Initially you don't know if the stock you get will tend toward motherhood. And first time mother's make mistakes. Which is why most people try to do both. Some breeds "go broody" more than others. Some lay forever and never want to sit on eggs.

    A broody hen isn't a laying one, so sometimes people keep breeds that LOVE to brood, like cochins, silkies, sizzles and frizzles and OEGB as natural incubators to breeds that tend not to.

    If I don't have a broody and I want to hatch my eggs, then I have to incubate because SUGGEST all you want, when you want a broody you cannot Make one.

    Because of the risks of first time mistakes and mistakes made by hens in general, some people prefer to incubate - especially the pricier or rarer eggs. You lose fewer if you're good at it.

    So it's sort of a get there and SEE thing. I want as many Bourbon Red poults and Rock chicks as I can turn out this year. So though I have broodies, I am also hatching my fool head off.

    From what gets hatched I choose the next generation of better stock and move the flock up a notch and sell the rest.

    Since my goal is constant improvement and replacement - I do both.

    For a small laying flock, I don't think everyone does but most are ASSIMILATED. BYC has this.... affect on people. You see breeds you don't have and never thought you wanted... and then... it all sort of sucks you in.

    It's easier to plan on giving in from the start - start saving for the incubator...
  5. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    Welcome from North Carolina!! They have already told you what I was going to say!! I do love to incubate eggs!!![​IMG]
  6. DAT

    DAT Hatching

    Mar 26, 2009
    Southeastern Vermont
    Quote:Yes, I can see where that could happen. I'm already looking up breeds that I see in people's signatures on Wikipedia, and thinking "Hmm, that looks interesting...".

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.
  7. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Wikipedia is nowhere near as .... helpful as


    Welcome to the addiction.

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