Store Bought Incubator vs Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CheshieChick13, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. I went to TSC and bought one of those still air incubators. I am still up in the air as whether I should use my broody to hatch the eggs I have on the way or this over priced piece of styrofoam [​IMG]

    I have a silkie hen that is brooding on 8 duds. She has been brooding for approximately the last ten days, and to my dismay all the eggs were duds (I have a roo still trying to get the hang of things [​IMG] ). From what most have told me I should have no problems with such a dedicated momma, trading the duds for fertile eggs. My hen is eating and drinking well given her circumstances, so I am not really worried about her keeling over.

    So if you had these two options, which would you use and why?

    This is my first time hatching I am full of questions [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2010
  2. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    How many do you have coming? Maybe you should split them. Give Ms Broody a few and hatch the rest. Of course if it's your very first try with an incubator, I'd go for the broody. IMO her instinct trumps your lack of practice.
  3. they'reHISchickens :

    IMO her instinct trumps your lack of practice.

    LMAO! Well put, well put!​
  4. vaiger

    vaiger In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2010
    Ditto. My first hatch with the TSC still air incubator was a flop. I learned what "counting your chickens before they hatch" meant. Ignore the instructions and follow the info on this board instead. With still air, you need to be just a little warmer if you are taking temparature readings on top of the eggs. Also, humidity is a huge factor. The water trays were not enough and I had to add damp sponges to get the humitity up.

    Recently I had a hen go broody sitting on four eggs. I wish I had put more under her. She hatched 100% and we have let her free range with her chicks. They are four weeks old and doing great. In the past when we incubated chicks and tried to integrate them into our flock, they were picked on terribly. These chicks are protected by their mom and integration is going really well.

    But my primary reason for using the broody is that nothing is cooler than watching mama hen lead her babies around and show them the ropes. My entire family could watch them for hours. It is truly an amazing thing. IMO, that is the coolest thing I have seen since I have been raising chickens.
  5. Quote:Okay I'm completely leaning towards my broody now. I have never seen that, my flock was all brooded under a light or later integrated.

    I'll give her as many as she can handle and attempt the incubator if there are any left over as an experiment. I have approximately 16+ silkie eggs on the way, and my broody is a silkie.

  6. mycutekitties

    mycutekitties Songster

    Aug 15, 2009
    Modesto, California
    My friend gave me 18 Silkie eggs for my first incubator hatch. NOT ONE made it. [​IMG] But the 2nd time I tried my incubator I got about a 75% hatch rate.
    If I were you I would give them to your broody hen. They do a much better job and you don't have to be worried about heat and humidity all the time.

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