Is anyone using surrogate hens to hatch chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by bigoledude, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    Many years ago my brother used Silkie hens to hatch eggs for non-setting chickens. I never took an interest in poultry back then. I am now wanting to raise some chickens and Muscovy ducks. The Muscovy ducks are pretty great at setting their own eggs. But I will need a way to hatch my chicken eggs.

    Would an incubator be better than using Silkies? I thought my grandchildren would love the Silkies. OK, I would love the Silkies also! It looks like I will go with Silver Leghorns.

    If the Silkies are OK to use, how many eggs can I put under one hen?

    What is the best and least expensive incubator? I am on a very low fixed income but, I do not want a product that will give me a poor percentage of hatched eggs. If it takes a little more effort on my part, that's OK.
  2. DillardHome

    DillardHome Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2009
    Claxton, GA
    I used a broody Sumatra Hen to hatch 2 of another hens eggs since she wasn't broody. Their about 9 weeks old now and still stay close to her. She was a very good mom and protective. I hope she doesn't ask for a DNA test [​IMG][​IMG]


    I did try to put duck eggs under one of my broody chickens but the eggs ended up not being fertile. I had gotten feedback from other BYCer's that they had used chickens to hatch ducklings just fine. From what I can recall (don't quote me on this) they said you may have to separate the ducklings from the chicken because their eating/drinking needs are different. But double check that since my memory has gone to mush. [​IMG]

    Keep us posted!! [​IMG]
  3. sadies0111

    sadies0111 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2010
    This was my plan for hatching. I got a silkie because they are cute...then I read that they are very broody, so I plan on letting her hatch my other chickens' eggs.
  4. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    I only use Bio-Bators. I have an EE setting on a bakers dozen currently, but they are all her eggs except one. I have three hens that I use as Bio-Bators, 1 BO and two home crossed Hybrid setters.

    Off topic a little but i haven't tried to have any of my Bio-Bators adopt chicks yet, but I plan to try that this year. I have ordered some chicks and plan to encourage broodiness to have mother hen raise the chicks. I know it is not necessary, but I have found that chicks mature faster, learn quicker and are accepted into the flock better than brooder chicks. Any advice is welcome.

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