Whats better incubating or letting hen hatch?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by backwoodschick, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. backwoodschick

    backwoodschick Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 29, 2011
    East TN
    I have not decided about hatching yet was just wondering what popular opinion is.

    So whats better incubating or letting the hen hatch her eggs?
  2. lincolnsilkies

    lincolnsilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2011
    Lincoln Nebraska
    If your hen is willing to hatch them i say let her do it![​IMG]
  3. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    A hen will definitely have a better hatch rate than we can ever have because she's the pro. The only thing I don't like about having a broody hatch my eggs is that they are less people friendly after they hatch because they are bonded to their mom more than people. The ones I hatch in the incubator see me as mom and so when I have to catch them in the incubator they are totally okay with it and don't freak out at all because I am mom and I won't hurt them. I had someone come look at my birds the other day and all my birds roosters and hens alike will follow me around the yard begging me for attention. It's more like they are trying to catch me rather than the other way around.
  4. Prisserbabe

    Prisserbabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2011
    The chicken coop
    Natural way is better! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 14, 2011
    Quote:i have heard this a lot about having a broody hen hatch them...more skittish,can be aggressive, less friendly, ect
  6. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Bristol, VT
    I haven't seen the agressiveness but the skittishness is what I am talking about. The birds I hatch in the incubator will come and sit on my lap e en if I don't have treats because they enjoy company. The broody hatches I have seen dont want to be touched at all and you can't really get near them unless you are feeding them. Some is the mom and what they taught them from hatching but I think a lot of it is that they aren't imprinted on people when they are broody hatched they are imprinted on chickens so winning their trust takes a lot longer than with ones you hatch yourself.
  7. jason180sx

    jason180sx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    hen is better i think
    i have a hen at with 2 chicks now
    before she went broody she would run away for me
    now we are best friends she lets me pick the chick up she let me touch her
    but my it a whole diff story she pecks him and hates anyone but me
  8. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I have to disagree...

    i have had a few horrible broodies over the years.. ones who would eat the eggs.. ones who would abandon the nest.. ones who would see an egg pip and then attack the chick

    not to mention predators wrecking the nests and eating the eggs despite a hen's best efforts to protect them

    so in my experience it really depends on the hen.. and the predators.. heck Mother Nature in general

    and so far I have had 90 to 100% hatch rates on our eggs (in an incubator).. and I haven't abandoned a hatch.. never eaten a developing egg.. and as far as I can remember I have never attacked a hatching chick [​IMG]

    and before anyone says otherwise.. sure you can have horrible hatches.. or if you don't know your process well you can lose an entire clutch.. just speaking about my own personal results and experience with my hens and my eggs which is why I prefer artificial incubation over a broody hen any day
  9. pete55

    pete55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Suffolk, UK
    Generally we find that birds incubating eggs for the first half of incubation produces better results and then the eggs are be finished in the incubator. Certainly you have to consider the points Yinepu has made about reliability, predators etc.

    When we breed our parrots we always leave the eggs under birds until about Day 20 (they hatch on Day 24/25) or the hatch rate would drop. In fact for harder to breed Macaws we use Pidgeons as broodies and are sucess rate is excellent.

    Im afraid its horses for courses really but in terms of healthy chicks we have found that Mother Nature does a better job in the critical phase of early embryo development [​IMG]

    Pete [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2011
  10. cva34

    cva34 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Van Vleck ,TX
    I vote Hen.If you got a good one.They do it all .Heat them ,turn them,hatch them,call them to feed and water,A natural Brooder,tell there ready to be on there own.Plus protect them with there life.There's nothing like a Mad Momma....cva34

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