odds of broody hen hatching bought hatching eggs?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by UBkevy, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. UBkevy

    UBkevy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    Buffalo
    Last year was my 1st time seeing what a broody hen really looks like. And this year I am interested in seeing if I can get a hen to sit on hatching eggs. Last years a few barred rocks of mine and a few sex-links went broody, and I have seen early signs of my barred rocks and a few Buff Orps going broody. I am just wondering if there are any tricks and what are the odds of them excepting and hatching foreign eggs?
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    When a hen is broody, she will gladly take eggs from any source. Her odds of hatching them are directly related to their fertility. But I would wait until your hen has proven she is IN broody mode, having stayed on the nest two nights instead of going to the roost, before putting any fertile eggs under her.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  3. UBkevy

    UBkevy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    Buffalo
    is a broody hen equally willing to raise day old chicks as she is to sit on eggs?
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    It is my belief - because I've never tried it but have read of others doing so - a hen needs to be broody for a while before she will accept chicks, OR she has been broody before and hatched chicks. Then she might take the chicks without having set on eggs before being offered the chicks.

    Hopefully, more experienced folks will check in on this and give you a more definitive answer.
     
  5. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    Quote:No. Every once in awhile an old hen will except day old chicks but I've never seen it. I've heard that people have tried it and the were successful, but that is not the norm. The placement of the chicks has to be done at night. If she does not except them she will most likely kill them.
    It is best to let her hatch out a brood of chicks then to try to get her to except day olds.
    Broody hens don't care where the eggs come from as long as they hatch! I myself don't like to break a hens brood. I personally think it messes with them mentally to do so, so when my laying hens went broody, I'd let them have eggs to set on and rear the chicks. I placed the eggs under her at night and had no troubles with her getting to except the eggs.
     
  6. UBkevy

    UBkevy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    Buffalo
    this might sound dumb but does the size and color matter. my hens all lay med-large lighter to mid brown eggs. If I get EE eggs or jumbo RIR eggs as an example will that decrease the chances?
     
  7. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    Quote:Nope not a dumb question! From my experience, the egg color and size did not matter to the broody hen. The size can be a factor when you want a bantam to set on larger eggs. The little hens can only hold so many eggs under them to efficiently hatch them. So it will depend on what breed you have. I think you could go with EE and jumbo RIR eggs and be just fine. Not all eggs will make it through the 21 days but the hen will toss out those that will not hatch.
    The best chance at a good hatch is to use fresh fertile eggs and not shipped eggs. When eggs are shipped that decreases the hatchability rate.
     
  8. UBkevy

    UBkevy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2009
    Buffalo
    sadly i do not have excess to fertile eggs other then to buy them and have them shipped.
     
  9. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    I bought eggs under my last broody, she hatched them with no problem. On tuesday i put 4-day olds under a broody (shes been broody for 5 weeks). She has taken them, shes not the best mama, she is quite young. so we will see. But it can be done. I think your chances of getting eggs for her to sit on are better. (try the auction/wanted section) You can put golf balls under her and seperate her also. If you put her in a dog crate it will stop her from wanting to get up and leave her eggs.
     
  10. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    Quote:There are a few places you can try for non shipped fertile eggs. Try asking your local feed store. They may have customers with fertile eggs for sale. Contact your local 4-H or FFA group. There are also chicken clubs and breed clubs. The American Poultry Association and the American Bantam Association has breeder listings.
    I have bought many a shipped egg. I have had some hatch really well and some have not.
     

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