Incubators vs. Mother hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Oldskunk, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Oldskunk

    Oldskunk New Egg

    May 15, 2013
    Alberta Canada
    Folks :
    I just have to share this with you. Having used many incubators over the past 50 years, I have settled this issue of the following questions, asked over and over again.


    1. What is the best incubator? Mother Hen
    2. Which one has the best hatch rate? Mother Hen
    3. Which one hatches at least cost? Mother Hen
    4. Which one is cheapest? Mother Hen
    5. Then why do we use incubators? Good question. Not sure.

    I did some calculating to see why we might use an incubator.

    Probably less fun to use a hen, but the following is what I came up with.

    Incubators are only part of the process of hatching eggs, They need power to run, and human labor to look over them. The only thing they do is hatch eggs. Plus you have to buy them, or make them. Chicks hatch but the incubator backs off to rearing them.

    Hens are independent and lay the eggs after exposing their good looks to a rooster.
    Then they sit on their eggs and come out in 3 weeks with a brood. They take to feeding them, on free range so costs to feed them is very minimal.
    No labor for me yet. In the fall we are presented with a nice batch of young chickens.
    Winter comes and mother hen gets back to supplying eggs for winter and next year. YES NO

    Cost per chick ? No able to figure it out as I failed in math.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Yes! [​IMG]
  3. justin24

    justin24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    memphis tn
    Well im workin on gettin' a broody hen because i have none so i will use a incubator in spring
  4. Oldskunk

    Oldskunk New Egg

    May 15, 2013
    Alberta Canada
    Great idea. I use an old technique to make my hens broody. I make a 1/4 hole in both ends of about 12 eggs with a drill. Dremels work great. It should be clean. Then I blow the inners out with my mouth not air compressor. ( It makes a big mess ) Then I make an omelet as to not be wasteful. Now you fill the eggs with plaster and let it harder. It is good to use some food coloring so it is easy to identify them. Dummy eggs. You can buy them if you like. Now you place them all in one nest where your hens are laying. Chickens will lay eggs in it but you remove them each day. Soon you will have a broody hen. She sees an opportunity. When you get one broody set her on some dummy eggs for a few days until she is in full set. Let another hen use the original nest to get broody and so on. Sometimes you will get more than one at a time.

    Not hard to create. Good luck. My Grand kids love the mother hens with the chicks as they train them to be chickens.

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