Starting my first hatch

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HillTown Farm, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. HillTown Farm

    HillTown Farm New Egg

    Aug 11, 2014
    I started a chicken farm a year ago, we sell chicken eggs to our community. We have been buying chicks from hatcheries to cycle our hens, I have the urge to do my own hatching instead of buying 300 chicks every summer. I am beyond excited to get started with this for I love our animals and can't wait to grow my own from an egg. ANYWAYS I bought an incubater ( 1588 Genesis hova-bator incubater) with chicken egg rack. I have 6 buff orpington hens with one rooster in a big enclosure pen. After a week or so I will start putting the hopefully fertilized eggs away for 7 days and start the incubation process. My question is:

    Will those hens set on eggs? My incubator will only do 50 max and I would love for those hens to hatch whatever else they lay until I can do another incubator process again.
  2. HillTown Farm

    HillTown Farm New Egg

    Aug 11, 2014
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    They may or may not go broody. From what I understand hatchery birds as a rule do not go broody very often. They are bred more for egg production than broodiness. Orpingtons, though, do have a reputation for going broody, though, so I guess you'll just have to wait and see. There are no guarantees. If you plan on hatching 300 chicks a year, you're going to keep that incubator busy! Do you have a plan for all the extra cockerels you're going to end up with?
  4. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    If you want 300 pullet chicks, will have to hatch approximately 600 chicks to account for the 50/50 male to female ratio.

    Its best to set eggs before a week of age, from a pen of 6 hens that will take you FOREVER to hatch enough eggs to get the amount of pullets you want. You would be hatching every week for months, not to mention all of the eggs that need to be tossed due to infertility, shell damage, embryo death etc.

    Unless you know how to vent sex, you will have to feed all the chicks until you know which are pullets and which are cockerals, then dispose/sell(probably not)/eat the boys. Even if you can tell gender at 5 weeks of age, its going to be more expensive feeding them up than ordering pullet chicks from the hatchery.
    1 person likes this.
  5. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 5, 2013
    I agree you would definitely have your work cut out for you. I just wanted to add I believe there's a pretty good chance your buffs will go broody for you. Every single one I've had or have currently has gone broody within in their first year of If you really planned on hatching your own after weighing all these pros and cons I would suggest getting more hens to set. You can't keep them broody forever for the sake of the hen's health.
  6. spotsplus

    spotsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Franklin, MA
    I think it all depends on if your hens go broody. They should naturally but it's up to the hen as to when she starts being broody. Good luck!

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