Should I let my hens hatch chickies or use incubator???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickLover98, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    I'm totally new to breeding and hatching chicks... I'm hoping to get some chicks in the upcoming months and I dont know if its better to let my hens hatch the eggs or take them inside to incubate them. Also, any other helpful information that I can use, please tell. Thank you! My chickies thank you!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    *Also, my roo is Rhode Island Red and my hens are Amber link. Guess I forgot to mention that up there...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2010
  2. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Songster

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    It just depends [​IMG] chicks will be safer inside so there fore you have a higher chance of more surviving. If you let the hen hatch them you will need a hole seperate pen to seperate momma and the chicks when they hatch or else the bigger chickens could kill the babies.
    whatever you wanna do [​IMG] chicks will also be tamer if you hatch them in an incubator.
     
  3. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks so much! I'm thinking about incubating them because of my six other hens and big roo. I dont know if the roo would be protective over them or kill them. My other hens may kill them too. Is it safe to put other chicks with my hens now? If i raise them inside would it be ok to put them back with my hens outside or would they be unacceptave towards the chicks? What about the roo? Also, when would it be best to bring the eggs inside? My hens don't sit on the eggs, so should i just save them to eat or try to incubate them? Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

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    You have to wait for a hen to go broody before it's even possible to consider hatching eggs naturally. I don't know anything about the breed you have, but not all breeds go broody, and not all hens of a broody breed will go broody, either.

    I let my three bantam hens hatch out clutches of eggs this spring; it was one of the most unforgettable and wonderful experiences of my life! Out of 15 eggs, 14 of them hatched and the chicks all grew up strong and healthy.
     
  5. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Wow. Congrats on your babies! I'll try both methods, but i heard that Amberlinks dont usually go broody because theyre better layers. Please comment. [​IMG]
     
  6. verlaj

    verlaj Songster

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    Micanopy, Florida
    I love having a broody hatch and raise the chicks. Mama does almost all of the work! You do need a snake proof enclosure to protect the eggs and the chicks. Maybe the chicks aren't as friendly as hand-raised ones, but I think they are more savvy. Haven't lost one that was raised by a broody to a predator yet (knocking wood), and mine free range.
     
  7. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Wow. I'm torn. I dont know which method i'll use. If my Ambers dont go broody, I'll bring the eggs in, but if they do, I'll leave it to them!! [​IMG]
     
  8. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Songster

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    Jun 16, 2010
    Kansas
    Well I'm not sure if the hens will accept the chicks if you hatch them. And plus they gotta want to care for em' and all. So if you do decide to incubate keep in mind that sooner or later you have to introduce them to the rest of the flock which somtimes takes allloot of time in chickens. If you are going to incubate you can collect the eggs up to 10 days before incubating. So whenever you get ready...start collecting!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. ChickLover98

    ChickLover98 The Chicken Princess

    Apr 24, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks! I think I'm gonna wait to collect them until ALL of my hens are laying, to get a better hatch. I'm gonna do them all at once! [​IMG]
     
  10. crazyhorse2098

    crazyhorse2098 Hatching

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Also, if you hatch your eggs by gathering them first, you need to turn the eggs 2x a day and keep them in a cool (NOT cold) room. They are good for 10 days as long as you turn them, and then you can incubate them all together. (Also, I have put some chicks under a hen or two that have been broody and they have excepted them as their own, but once the chicks hatch and dry, if they don't bond to the hen, it hasn't worked for me...) What I mean is, I have put chicks under a hen (I always do it at night...) and if the chicks are too old, I mean hours...they won't bond with the hen....when I have put them under the broody hen AS THEY HATCHED, they both bonded and were fine...)
     

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