Official BYC Poll: Why Do You Incubate/Hatch at Home?

Why Do You Incubate/Hatch at Home?

  • I haven't tried it yet!

    Votes: 22 14.7%
  • To get the highest quality breeds.

    Votes: 24 16.0%
  • To develop new varieties/crosses.

    Votes: 31 20.7%
  • To witness the miracle of hatching.

    Votes: 70 46.7%
  • To educate and inspire my children.

    Votes: 26 17.3%
  • To know my chicks from the moment they hatch.

    Votes: 52 34.7%
  • For the super rare breeds I can't get from hatcheries.

    Votes: 22 14.7%
  • To control all medications, vaccinations, feeds, etc.

    Votes: 11 7.3%
  • So my broodies can become mothers, and raise the chicks naturally.

    Votes: 46 30.7%
  • Other (elaborate in a reply below)

    Votes: 27 18.0%

  • Total voters


Critically-endangered Crevecoeur breeder
Apr 26, 2020
NE Florida
Crevecoeurs don't go broody and the incubator is easy and fun. Plus, I get to choose which hens to breed by keeping track of who laid the egg by separating the ones I want eggs from for hatching for an afternoon.

My husband doesn't really get into the flock, but he says the hatchlings are so much more beautiful than the day-olds for which I paid dearly. I think the trauma of transport causes them not to thrive as much as my home incubator chicks who never know an unhappy moment. Except for the scary tractor going by--! 😂


If at first you don't fricassee, fry, fry a hen
Premium Feather Member
Mar 29, 2021
I selected "other" as one of my reasons, because my main reason is to have a self-sustaining flock. With the occasional loss to predators or illness, it's nice to be able to put a few eggs under a broody and have some new chicks to keep the flock going.


6 Years
May 19, 2015
the Netherlands
My Coop
My Coop
I like to maintain my flock without quarantining or risking to bring in some diseases like Marek. Twice I bought hatching eggs and tried another breed. And twice I had a young rooster that fertilised eggs for offspring.

My Dutch are great broodies if they have a quiet place to hatch. . That is without interferences from flock members. And they are great mothers too until the chicks are about 8 weeks.

Unfortunately I can’t keep a rooster bc they make too early too much noise.


6 Years
Jan 31, 2015
Hatching chickens can be a fun and educational experience for the entire family. How cool is it to watch a small egg turn into a tiny life! And of course, when these chicks grow up, your understanding of chickens and their life cycle can be quite rewarding, something you will never forget.

Everyone has their reasons, but we would like to find out: Why Do You Incubate/Hatch at Home?

Place your vote above (top 3 reasons), and please elaborate in a reply below if you chose "Other".

View attachment 2843398

Further Reading:

(Check out more exciting Official BYC Polls HERE!)
Due to my geographic location in Alaska the Supply of quality birds is limited. Due to distance and climate shipping when they make it here,often ends in fatality.


Stars can't shine without darkness
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2019
Moore County, NC
I wanted some tiny bantam breeds and the way the postal service can be since 2020, I'd rather risk eggs than lives with the mail. I have ordered mail order chicks and I had a phenomenal experience but that was before COVID-19. I also paid a lot ($60+) for the 3 pullet option of common breeds but the hatchery included extras. Little did I know that I could easily get these same birds from TSC or the local feed store for much less. I was able to get some Bantams from TSC but they're typical hatchery quality birds. I really enjoy incubating although I admit that I am one that gets really stressed throughout hatching. The stress is getting better as I hatch more but that's just the type of person I am. I have a hen that hatched some tiny Bantams and she did such a wonderful job, so that was extremely enjoyable as well. The wait time is the only downside to hatching, in my personal opinion.

Edited to add: Like others have mentioned, buying chicks from a local farm makes me nervous with the diseases that can be so rampant without being obvious. Of course that can be an issue with hatching eggs in some cases if I'm not mistaken but it's not as common, especially if buying hatching eggs from someone that holds a NPIP cert

jake and pippa

5 Years
Dec 13, 2015
Hudson Valley NY
I raise birds for the table. You get a lot more offspring out of a small flock if you incubate then if you allow them to brood and hatch. And I don’t want to simply buy birds and raise them for the table because I raise heritage breeds not “meat birds”. I also choose breeding stock each year to improve my birds.


Mar 13, 2021
Ozark Mountain Foothills of Arkansas
I absolutely love incubating eggs. We use an incubator(s) or broody hen(s) to achieve good blood lines and know where our chickens are coming from. We want the best quality birds for ourselves but also for other people looking into getting chickens. We hatch to profit (sell chicks) and improve the quality of the birds we have as well as introduce new genes into our flock. We also will use cockerels or roosters that hatch for meat if they do not sell or find a home. It's just plain fun to incubate eggs and see the amazing miracle of life from start to finish. There aren't many months when my incubators aren't running or a hen isn't sitting. We are on our last batch of chicks in the incubator (not counting the 3 broodies I have right now, 2 on eggs the other taking care of her chicks) before the cold weather hits but we look forward to hatching even more chicks next year!


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