Start eggs in incubator, then move to broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Scifisarah, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Rockford MI
    My Coop
    I am thinking about ordering some eggs from ebay. I've been told that the hatch rate for their shipped eggs is about 50%. I really don't want to incubate them myself since my incubator isn't very reliable and I just don't have the time for turning, monitoring etc. I only have one broody hen right now. Would it work to start double the ammount of eggs I would want in the incubator, then after I can candle, move the ones that are good under the chicken? Or would moving them do too much damage?
  2. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Hatch rate for shipped eggs is about 50% if you use an incubator. That's my theory anyway. I don't own an incubator. I always get a good hatch from shipped eggs under a broody hen. If it were me, I would just get enough eggs for the hen, and give them directly to her.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I would give all the eggs to the broody hen, she is likely to throw out the ones that are not going to hatch.
    If you wish you can candle the eggs once she is sitting them either when she leaves the eggs to eat/drink or by removing them from under her carefully (but personally I would let her do the sorting)

  4. Hi! Moving the eggs from incubator to broody (or broody to incubator) won't harm them at all.
    What I would do is candle the eggs when they arrive to check for loose/wobbly air cells, cracks, etc.
    Give the broody hen the 'good eggs' and set what she can't cover in the incubator
    (I've never been able to get eggs with loose/wobbly air cells to grow and hatch, anyway).
    After 7 days, candle them all again and hope the hen can cover all the eggs that are developing.
    Good luck!
    I often start eggs in the incubator and move them to broody hens for them to finish and hatch. That way I don't have to set up a hatcher, worry over humidity, or clean a messy hatcher after.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: