Question for natural incubation folks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chicken Keith, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Talking standard size chickens, how many eggs do you usually set under your hens to effectively incubate? How many eggs is too many? This is a poll, and there are no wrong answers. Just curious what you think. A wild mallard duck (roughly same size as a small standard chicken) who hatched a clutch of eggs in my backyard this spring incubated 10 eggs and 7 ducklings hatched. Is mother nature's number, the magic number 7?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    You can set as many eggs as the hen can comfortably cover. Personally, prefer to give them no more than 12 eggs. I've had hens hatch 12/12 eggs and I've had hens hatch 1/8 eggs, there is no magic number. It depends on the hen, if she's a good sitter, the eggs, are they fresh, fertile etc.
  3. Pancholoco

    Pancholoco Songster

    Nov 12, 2012
    Sin, MX. now CA.
    No more than 12 here too.
  4. boyswithchicks

    boyswithchicks Hatching

    Jan 17, 2013
    One of my RIR has just hatched 10/11 and a Light Susssex covered 16 and hatched 13. Have just set 14 under a Australorp and a further Light Sussex is currently covering 14.
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Songster

    Sep 12, 2012
    I think it would also depend on the breed. Some chicken breeds are naturally larger than others. I wouldn't put the same number of eggs under a Modern Game hen, that I would put under a Brahma.

    But I've had one mixed-breed hen successfully sit on 16 eggs, and hatch every last one of them.

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