Letting my hens hatch eggs.


In the Brooder
Jul 16, 2015
I have a few questions about allowing y hens to hatch their own eggs.

1) Can I just let the hens lay until they go broody one their own? Or do I have to collect them make them go broody and then stick all the eggs under her/them? I know its about 12-14 eggs they will want to set on... so that would be collecting for that many days.

2) Do you think have 7 hatching is just to many?

3) What I am most worried about it that I am going to let them go broody on their own, but I suspect they will all lay in one nest.. getting one hen to set, leaving the rest to do the same with the next set of eggs so they will all not be setting at the same time.... if I am explaining that correctly lol.

4) How long will they remain fertile on my counter or other location with a steady temp?
You can't make a hen go broody. They get the urge to raise a family or they don't. Even breeds prone to be setters may never do so. Breeds known not to set, may do so.
The number of eggs depends on the size of the hen. A silkie (known broody breed) couldn't cover 12 eggs.
They'll remain viable for 7-10 days. They should be about 60F for best results.
Again, you may never get a broody hen, let alone all of your hens.
If a hen starts setting, you have to mark the eggs under her so you can remove any volunteers. If all eggs aren't begun incubating simultaneously, the hen will leave the nest when the first hatch, dooming the remaining embryos.
I have had lots of good luck getting a hen to go broody. I got my BSL and then my RIR.. but I think it will be quite challenge get 7 broody hens. I know at least the RIR will she will go broody at the drop of a dime.. or egg I should say lol. Good to know they will keep at 60 for 10 days! Thank you!
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OK I will, though i suspect your being really sarcastic. If not then I am truly sorry. With my BSL I bought some balls from the dollar store. I place 9 balls on her nest, she then laid 6 and then sat on them got that 1000 yard stare and would not move off the nest. I bought some chicks waited till midnight and took the "eggs" and the chicks ran right under her. By the next day she went after my GSD through the fence when he walked by. She raised 6 chicks into adult hood. Then this year I did the same thing with my RIR... who will go broody if you leave eggs in the nest for a very small amount of time which is frustrating because then she doesn't lay for awhile. So we must stay on top of it. We gave this one 13 chicks to raise in July . I ended up with 7 roos so we sent 6 to freezer camp and left one to look over my girls. I actually think I found this advice somewhere here, but I forget I where it came from as it was a few years ago and then this year. Both times were in the spring so maybe it was just the right time. The RIR was funny becasue the balls were colored on both side and she organised them there was 3 red/3 blue/3 green grouped together, then she would turn them and the colors would change but wold still be grouped.
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