What do you prefer broody vs incubator?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Chickending, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. Chickending

    Chickending Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    I am considering hatching out some of my hens eggs. I have quite a few roosters and 33 hens. I have some BO who go in and out of broodiness. Just wondering if I should let one set some eggs or have more control and do the incubator.

    I am just not sure as I have never done it before and just not sure if I want to spend the money on the bator or let nature take its course.

    Which way do you think you have a better hatch rate?

  2. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    It's a lot less work when the hens do it.
  3. Siddonzo

    Siddonzo In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2007
    Southern MN
    Hi Chickending!

    I had a BO hen go broody when I didn't need any chicks (picked up 30 chicks 3 weeks before), but I put 4 fresh-laid eggs under her. She hatched 3 and is a great mom.

    I put 13 guinea eggs in an incubator 8 days ago, and it takes a lot of attention and fine tuning. I wish I could have given them to a broody!

    I worried/worked a lot less with the broody!

  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Broody is pretty easy and it takes up less space in the house. The chicks will get introduced to the flock sooner also.
  5. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    While I have always preferred broody hens over Incubators, I might have to change my mind. I have had four hens go broody this past week and all have left the nest. I wasted four dozen good eggs. When things go right I lke hens because they are less work.
    If I could guarantee things wouldn't go wrong with my incubator efforts I might go that way. But I have never had great results with my incubators. My experiences have been very inconsistent.
  6. Anne

    Anne Songster

    Feb 11, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    I like broodies best. In my experience, they tend to have better hatch rates. You don't have to worry about your humidity/temp during incubation, the hen will do all the work rearing the chicks as long as you provide food & water, and the chicks are then easily integrated with the rest of the flock.

    On the downside, you can't hatch very many eggs at once, and broody-raised chicks are often not as tame as their incubator-hatched (human-raised) counterparts.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2008

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    If I'm setting 8-10 eggs I much prefer a broody hen.
    When I'm setting 300 the incubator does a much better job.
  8. BirdBoy88

    BirdBoy88 Angel Egg

    Dec 26, 2007
    they both have there goods and bads when you think about it..

    the good thing with a hen is theres less work and you don't have to stress about temps and humidity and all that.. the bad thing with a hen is once the eggs hatch she doesn't want you near the babies..lol

    and the bator the good thing about that is you get to watch the full hatch of your babies [​IMG]

    pros and cons really
  9. Chickending

    Chickending Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Thank you for the good advice.

    I think I will try the broody idea first and see how it goes. My next question is do you let her sit on the eggs in the coop with the other chickens. This is my idea.

    I have a large dog kennell I was going to set that up in the coop so she can still interact with the other chickens and I will have food and water in the kennel with her. I can let her out during the day if she wants.

    Would that be the best way to go? Or do I move her to a completely different area?
  10. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Keep them separate. When she leaves the nest for food, water, and personal hygiene othe hens may try to get in her nest. Could be problems with that.

    When the chicks hatch and start running around the other chickens might attack the little ones. She will try to protect them but may not be succesfull.

    I let mine start interacting with the rest of flock at about a week old but they still sleep in a different part of the coop. My coop has a chicken wire wall so they do hear and see each other.

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