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Is anyone using surrogate hens to hatch chicks?

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

  1. bigoledude

    bigoledude Songster

    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 Songster

    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 In 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 Songster

    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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