letting hens hatch out eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by OkapisRule, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. OkapisRule

    OkapisRule Songster

    Oct 24, 2007
    Northern georgia
    I haven't bred chickens yet, but i'm thinking about it. For when I do, I was wondering if it would be o.k. to let the parents or a broody chicken hatch out the egg naturally. I would like to know, because I don't want the chicks to die without me even knowing that I shouldn't do it. I would think that since this is the natural process, it would work, but I would like to make sure.
  2. stallionhawk

    stallionhawk In the Brooder

    I let my silkies hatch and raise my chicks. I handle them every day, to make sure they are ok. My silkies don't mind me touching their babies. Just make sure you feed them chick starter, not layer feed.
  3. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I am going to try it myself in the spring and am hoping I get a broody hen to do the job. I just got what I think will be a really nice rooster and I do not mind mixed breeds at all because I think they are beautiful with all the different colors they can have. Every spring I buy chicks from my feed store but this year I would like to have a hen (not me) do all the work!!!
  4. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    maybe it is the breed but when my brooder hatches eggs...she hatched two red stars and one e.e., they are wilder than mad=hatters. I have taken chicks away from her and raised them in a brooder in the house and they are much more tamer. I didn't mess with them when they were with the hen so that is probably why. I don't like the ones who are wild.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Yeah, my hen raised birds are street smart and don't run up to you like you're their infinite treat bucket.
  6. OkapisRule

    OkapisRule Songster

    Oct 24, 2007
    Northern georgia
    So it's fine for them to hatch them too?
  7. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    I had a lot of fun with my broody's this spring. And one of the baby's is the tamest bird I have. The mother was just awesome with letting us handle her only chick. Only one of her 3 eggs hatched. The chicks had no problems, and were all very healthy. I do have seven more that were hatched a few weeks later and they are not very friendly, but they do know that only good things come from me and most of them come a running when they see me, they just stay a little further away from me. But that is alright, they are all nice birds.

    I would definately go the broody route again.
  8. paganfish

    paganfish Songster

    Sep 15, 2007
    Fleming, Colorado
    Well, I tried letting my bantys sit on eggs the bigger hens would not. I have red stars and ees too that will not sit on eggs! [​IMG]

    So, I replaced the banty's eggs with some ees and red stars and now i have some of the bigger guys running around the yard.

    I too don't mind that they don't come to me like my red stars do (raised them from chicks)...but, they do run to me when I come out with the bucket of goodies!

    For these chickens eat OUT of bucket don't ya know? [​IMG]


    PS Next Spring I am going to try that again...I am so excited! [​IMG] I can't wait...and it's not even Winter! [​IMG]
  9. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Quote:for sure!
  10. TerrasCritters

    TerrasCritters In a new coop

    Oct 24, 2007
    It is perfectly OK to let a hen hatch her own chicks.
    But make sure, chicks will not be in any danger, mom is keeping them in check and nothing can get to them

    I personally have not had good sucess with hens keeping there own chicks, but then again, the only times I have is when I didnt know the due dates, and I always found abandon chicks, chicks who left the nest and mom didnt track them down, chicks near dead or dead because mom didnt keep track of them, or (lucky to not have this happen but its possable) the other birds hurting / killing them. Also, rats or any other prey can get to them.

    Many times this year I saved near death/frozen chicks, i saw just the littlest bit of life in them and put them under the heat lamp, rubbing them getting there blood flowing etc to get them back to life. it could take along time 15-20 but I have not lost one yet that wasnt already dead.

    Just last week I saved one, it was a chick, who a duck decided to incubate, she had 9 eggs, when I found her sitting I didnt know how long she had been on them, so I didnt know when they were due. Last week they hatched, I only knew from the peeping, 4 were out of the nest in the middle of the pen with the adult birds just looking at them they were peeping like crazy, 2 were under the hen on the nest still one was only pipped, 2 were in the nest area in the opposite corners of eachother. One dead, another near dead, I brought it back, after doing what I mentioned above, I walked away for a quick second then went back to continue making sure the chick would make it and I didnt know which one it was anymore! They were all baby white cochins, they all looked alike! I did place that pipped egg in my incubator and about an hour later it hatched. I gave them to my friend all 8 of them. [​IMG]

    So just make sure you have a nice secure area around your hen, make sure your hen will keep good track of chicks, make sure no other adult birds will hurt your chicks, keep a good eye on them.

    So for me what I have done in the past is check everyday for eggs pipping when I feel it is getting close, and once chicks or my ducklings hatch and dry out, I take them and put them with my brooder.

    Alot of times chicks will hatch and moms will leave the rest of the eggs behinde to get cold and die if they are taking to long.

    If you plan on letting mom hatch, make sure they will all hatch at the same time, dont slip new eggs under her that will be due at a later time, if she leaves with her chicks those eggs are done.

    Most importantly, be prepared to have to scoop the chicks up to brood yourself.

    Some hens just are not good moms. Alot of hens wont go broody, Silkies have seemed to be the favorite with everyone, they will sit on a rock and wait for it to hatch, trust me I have done it! I wanted to keep her broody to finish other incubations in progress LOL I never let them sit more then two clutches at a time, they do get up to eat and drink I make sure of that by feeling there crops and by watching them leave the nest.

    Best of luck to you I hope you have a great experience, mom raised chicks seem to be the easiest, not so much care needed from you.

    Maybe if moms were tame chicks would be also, if you handled and interacted with the chicks, if you offered treats frequently, the chicks will learn your a good person and trust and be friends.

    I have some not so tame chickens coming around, only because they see the others running up to me as soon as they see me, and see they are getting lovings and treats.

    Anyway, I have wrote a book here, I know you will make the right choice for your situations and you will learn what works for you and your chickens!!


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