Um...a little advise please

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by stina3246, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. stina3246

    stina3246 Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    109
    Mar 25, 2010
    So I have 2 banty hens and a banty rooster. One of my hens has started laying eggs but we don't know which one because no one is sitting on them. The problem here is we move our tiny flock out into the coop during the day and into a seperate pen at night. Our coop isn't 100% done so we make sure they are completely safe at night by putting them all in a secure hutch. So even if a hen decided to sit on her eggs we would be moving her every night. We found an egg in the hutch this moring FRESHLY laid...still wet actually. We think we'd like to try to hatch it but we are guessing with us moving our hens every day they won't settle down to nest. Is our best bet then to try to build our own incubator?
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  2. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,464
    35
    188
    Apr 7, 2010
    Eastern IA
    If the hen isn't staying on the nest all the time it's likely she isn't broody. When she decides to go broody she'll stay glued to her nest and growl and fluff at you when you try to pry her off. Until that happens she won't hatch any for you no matter where they are so if you want chicks now you'll probably need an incubator. One of my broody hens claimed a basket out in the barn but when I tried to move the basket to the coop so she could be shut in at night, she left it and went back to corner where it was. So I accomodated by moving her and the basket in and out of the coop each morning and night [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,139
    3,351
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I suggest patience. Get your coop finished first. You really do have some time. Don't make it more complicated than it has to be.

    There is no way of knowing when or even if one of your hens will go broody. It is purely dependent on when the hormones kick in. If you want to hatch eggs at a certain time and not rely on a hen going broody, an incubator is a good idea. If you rely on a hen, they may never go broody.

    Collect all the eggs you want to hatch before you start. Life is a lot simpler if you start them at the same time. Staggered hatches, where they don't all hatch at the same time, can be extremely stressful to you and often to lead to bad things happening. I always advise against a staggered hatch, especially for the first time.

    I don't like to hatch "pullet" eggs, especially the first few eggs they lay. It sometimes takes a while for the pullet to get the kinks worked out of her internal egg laying factory. Those first few eggs especially may not hatch. Give her some time to get things worked out.

    But even more important to me, the pullet eggs are usually just not that large. They do not contain enough nutrients for the chick to develop to its potential. As a result, the chicks that hatch are smaller than they normally would be. They may or may not eventually grow up to be as big as normal. I've seen different reports on that. They will hatch. I set some pullet eggs one time and got a pretty good hatch rate. But I also lost several in the first 24 hours. Mine did not survive as well as the ones that hatched out of eggs from older chickens. I don't know what the magic age is. I hatched some from 9 month old pullets and they did great. The ones I hatched from 5 month old pullet's eggs hatched real well and the ones that lived past 24 hours had great energy and all that, but I lost 4 out of 8 those first 24 hours. I know other people have better success, but I'll have more patience next time.
     
  4. stina3246

    stina3246 Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    109
    Mar 25, 2010
    Thanks guys. Yeah, the eggs are pretty little but they are banties so I thought that was about the right size. I have NO idea what I'm doing....never had chickens before. I sure do love them though. SO much fun.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by