Not sure where to start!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ForeverFree, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2011
    York, PA
    Hey guys.
    I'm preparing for chickies next year. I'm keeping everything that I used from when my chickens were babies to use on the next generations to come.
    I'm keeping the babies in a brooder in my room, as I did with my last chickens.
    But, I'm not sure what to do and what to expect.
    For one, I have 11 pullets that will end up being mothers.
    Would it be better to have one of my broody hens with the babies to take care of them or would it be better if I did it myself?
    Also, how many fertilized eggs should I expect to get next spring from 11 pullets?
    How long do I keep the eggs in the egg turner and then put the eggs in the incubator?
    I know it takes about 21 days for the eggs to hatch.
    Thanks in advance. <3

  2. florasbell

    florasbell Songster

    May 1, 2011
    mother nature is always best so if you have 11 happily sitting hens let them get on with it. but have a bator on standby incase anything goes wrong ie one of the hens gets killed, starts braking eatings eggs ect incubating well i have found is very heart breaking and hard work you will get much better chances if the mums are aloud to do it.

    i have had great fun incubating this batch and successfully hatched 5/10 chicks but if the mum had done it we prob would have got 10/10

    i have done sevral batches now and havent had any babies very upsetting
    this is my first sucessful hatch
  3. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2011
    York, PA
    Aww thank you.
    I'm sorry for your losses, but also glad that you got 5 chicks finally!
    My family and I realized that we're just going to let the broody hens take care of the chicks until they're about a week old.
    Then they will go to a new home.
    Should I be scared about the hens pecking me when I'm trying to take the chicks?
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Broody hen vs. incubator? I suppose it depends if you actually want to have small chicks to look after for a few weeks or if you'd prefer the mother hen to do the work for you. Some people swear by broodies, but some people prefer incubators. It all depends on you having a bird that goes broody at the same time as you want to hatch out chicks of course. Some breeds don't go broody at all, so depending on what breeds you have, you may not have the option. Unless they are Silkies of course in which case they could probably get chicks to hatch out of ping pong balls for you!

    How many fertilised eggs you get depends on a lot of things: how old your rooster is, how good he is at romancing the ladies, how receptive they are to his advances, how good the health of all your birds is, and how good is the nutrition they are getting, as well as how often your birds lay. Generally speaking, one healthy mature rooster should be able to keep your 11 ladies fully fertilised if he's doing his job properly. I have two roosters and when I had 30 hens, I almost never cracked open an egg and didn't see a fertilised bullseye. My eggs were practically 100% fertile.

    If you're using an incubator, you turn the eggs for the first 18 days, then stop. They should hatch round about day 21, but may take longer or shorter by a day or two.

  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm 10 Years

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. I use incubators that way I can control the hatch. I save eggs for a few days before I put them in the incubator. The longer they are sitting out before the get put in the incubator the less viable they become. During hot weather my boys go on strike so I put my incubators into hibernation for the summer. I have a hatch going on right now but only because a friend gave me some eggs and out of 2 dozen eggs there was only 10 fertile ones so I think his boys are on strike too.

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