Question about preferred hatch methods, egg sources

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HHandbasket, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Using an incubator?

    0 vote(s)
  2. Placing eggs under a broody hen?

    0 vote(s)
  3. Depends on weather/time of year.

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Hi everyone,

    I've been reading all the threads here, and when we have a place with more space, I'd definitely like to hatch out some eggs in the future! All in all, what is the preferred method of hatching, using a 'bator or sticking eggs under a broody hen? I can see significant advantages to both methods & it's really neat to see all the various outcomes the users here have had.

    I just can't see myself investing in an incubator and then deciding, nah, not for me, don't wanna do the whole chicks thing after all. I'm thinking that maybe next year, if I get a broody hen and we have the space/time to try our hand at raising some little chicks, I might just pick up some eggs and stick them under the hen and see how it goes. I think there are a couple of feed stores here in the Sacramento area where you can buy fertile eggs.

    Which method provides a better hatch rate, should I find myself in a situation to be able to hatch out some eggs next spring?

    Thanks in advance for the thoughts and opinions of the BYC egg-sperts!
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I've had 3 broodies and hatched a total of 2 chicks.

    guess which one I picked?
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Both have their goos and bad points good points. In an incubator you are at the mercy of power failures- but a broody could leave the nest at any time.

    I choose to incubate to get more hatched each season- but after I am done collecting eggs for incubating I do let them sit if they go broody.
    I can also plan my hatches in an incubator- say If I want to go away for a few days- I dont set eggs to hatch then- you cant always get the timing right with a broody.
  4. joe17

    joe17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2009
    I would much rather choose an incubator. Most broodys are not consistent or reliable. They rarely go broody when I want them to either. Incubators give me more control and are consistent.
  5. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Maybe its just me but by asking this under the incubating section you will always get mostly incubators.

    Asking flock maintenance or random ramblings may get a different result.
  6. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I only use an incubator. My hatches are normally 100% anyway, and the incubator just makes it easier than using a broody.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I don't own an incubator, and don't want one. I want the mama chicken to do the work of raising them. Want to select for good broodies and strong chicks.
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I do both. The only reason I "use" broodies is because I don't want to "break" them of their natural urges. I let them set over whatever eggs they choose (either by laying 'em or stealing 'em from other hens/pullets.) I do not put eggs under broody hens.

    I use incubators for the sheer excitement of hatching out chicks of breeds I don't have in my flock.

    Incubators are much more reliable - you can't program a pullet or hen to "go" broody. However, when a broody hatches chicks, she takes over all that brooding stuff and raises the chicks, all outside and without heat lamps and cleaning up after the chicks. I think chicken-raised chicks mature more quickly and learn things they should learn better - straight from another chicken.

    But brooders full of chicks are surely adorable.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  9. joe17

    joe17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2009
    Quote:Actually I have seen many people post in this section about there broody....
  10. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Quote:Well the section is called "Incubating & Hatching Eggs", so I thought this was a good section to ask about preferred hatching methods. It's not just called "Incubating Eggs". It's called "Incubating & (emphasis on the and) Hatching Eggs", and I know some people incubate, some let them hatch under a broody, so since incubating AND hatching are covered in the title of this section, I felt this the most appropriate place to put the question. I'm not trying to get a "different" result. I'm trying to learn something. I'm not after a targeted result to my question.

    It's just that in my mind, I don't get the necessity of the incubator for the every-day, garden variety backyard chickeneer. The species DOES know how to reproduce all by itself witout human interference. Because I've never hatched eggs before, I was just curious as to what value the every-day backyard farmer/chickenkeeper finds in using an incubator. I've seen a few threads in other sections of the forum wherein people have discussed all their headaches with incubators, things going wrong when the eggs are in lockdown, or problems with chicks not making it all the way out of the shells or not getting past the pip stage, etc., only for these users to eventually give up and just start sticking the eggs under a broody hen and have found that they have much higher hatch rates, more than double.... which is why I was asking which method is preferred. I personally didn't really get why the everyday backyard farmer would even want an incubator (unless one keeps species that don't often go broody, or also to hatch eggs in the off season, but Gryeyes made a good point in that you can hatch out species not presently in your flock), so I asked the question in order to better understand the viewpoint in case I ever want to hatch eggs. I want to learn all the points of view, and just because I personally can't see the use for an incubator now doesn't mean I won't learn to understand the use for them in the future and may eventually get one, should we ever get on our "forever farm" and have the space to hatch & raise chicks.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010

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