Question on my hens

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by animal boy, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. animal boy

    animal boy Out Of The Brooder

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    In the spring we became proud owners of a white rock, rhode island red, black cochin bantam, (all hens) and a brahma rooster. Last week we got out first few eggs and few days after that we saw our rooster mating with the white rock hen. We don't know if he's mated with the RIR or cochin. None of the hens seem like they want to sit on the eggs, though I here cochin bantams almost always go broody. Here is the dilemma, I hear hens won't sit on the eggs until a full clutch is made ( about 10-12 eggs I think) and we live in the north eastern part of the U.S. and the days and nights are becoming colder and colder. Do I have to worry about the eggs freezing or geting to cold since none of the hens are sitting on the eggs. We would like baby chicks but only if one of the hens rasie them. We don't really want to spend a lot of money on incubators and candling syestems. Should I leave the eggs in the nest and wait to see if one of the hens decides to sit on them or would I be wasting my time as the eggs would already to be cold and should I just collect them? Please note this is my first time rasing chickens and if this is in the wrong place then just please move the topic. Thanks
     
  2. leirob007

    leirob007 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At best all your going to come up with is crossed birds.
    why not eat the eggs.?
    if you want to raise chicks pick a breed and pair or trio them up. and raise something worthwhile?
    It takes the same effort to raise a chicken that you can sell rather then chickens you can not give away.
    Just my opinion.
    And if you do want to raise chicks up there. I would highly recommend an incubator. or make one. Lots of online places offer incubator parts. and fish stores throw away big thick styro-foam coolers every week
     
  3. animal boy

    animal boy Out Of The Brooder

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    So do you think I should just take them out of the nest box even if there fertile. We ate a few of the first eggs and they didn't taste very good. I think we left them out to long in the coop or on our counter. About how much does it cost to make an incubator?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    A hen won't sit and hatch eggs unless she is broody. Broodiness is determined by hormones so leaving the eggs in the nest will only result in broken eggs and eventually rotten eggs - not a broody hen and chicks. I had to wait almost three years before I had my first broody hen, so it is not something that happens everyday, even if you have breeds that are more likely to go broody (as I did) than others.

    You can build an incubator fairly inexpensively but so much depends on size and what materials you already have on hand.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  5. animal boy

    animal boy Out Of The Brooder

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    So just take the eggs out and not wait for a clutch to be made even though some of the eggs are likely fertile. Also will a hen go broody over just a few eggs ( say like 3 or 4 ) or does she need a lot of eggs to fully go broody?
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Here'a a nice thread on building a basic incubator:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/8510/chic-chick-bator-updated

    What you can do to encourage broodiness is mark some eggs, say 3-4 and leave them in the box, removing the fresh ones daily. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If a hen is broody she'll happily sit on only a few eggs and I've heard of broody hens sitting on golf balls!
     
  7. animal boy

    animal boy Out Of The Brooder

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    Well today I found the Rhode Island Red siting on the eggs when I came home. She came out when I let them out this morning, but later in the day I saw her running back to the coop. I went to check on her and she made a sort of growling sound ( a sign of a broody hen) in the nest box. Hopefully she will stay on the eggs and I won't need an incubator. Thanks for everyone's help though.
     

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