Why incubate with broody hens around?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by LocoPollo, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Songster

    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    I was just wondering why one would use an incubator as long as there are hens that will hatch them around. I think it would be fun to hatch them myself, but since hens make better mothers, i am hesitant to buy an incubator. I could definitely see it if the breed was a non brooder, but otherwise I am refraining from indulging in the urge to 'bate. What do yall think?
  2. sfcityfarmer

    sfcityfarmer In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2008
    You'll get friendlier birds if you hand raise them but it's obviously less work to let a broody hen do all the work.
  3. denasfarm

    denasfarm Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    I bought my bator after trying broody hens for a year. The hens would trample, kick and kill several chicks each batch.
    The smaller hens cannot hatch more than 5-6 eggs larger hens 10-12. My bator can hatch 42 at a time.
    So far I like it better! but I've only hatched a few test chicks and have quail pipping today! GO Bator!
  4. LocoPollo

    LocoPollo Songster

    Aug 13, 2008
    Ellijay, GA
    Hmmm. ok i may just have to go shopping lol! Currently the only hens i have laying or close to laying are and old english and two EE's. THe only rooster is an OE. The OE/EE mix should be interesting!
  5. Hi! There are times when both are handy. I set eggs every week or 10 days (at least I have for the last 3 years, depending on who is laying and what I want to hatch).
    I've had 3 incubators full at a time and sometimes all bators empty and 50 or so eggs under broody hens. I've had a ridiculous # of broody hens this season --- 23 at one time. It's really what's most convenient for me at the time.
    I've read that in some very dry climates, hens can't hatch chicks well. There, even if you had broody hens, you'd probably want to use artificial incubation.

  6. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    Jan 20, 2008
    My hatch rate is much better than my hens, and many times they manage to kill their chicks one way or another. Just my reasoning behind preferring incubators.
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Quote:When I was a kid we had a white rock mix that had 33 eggs under her... BELIEVE it or not... She hatched 32 and they all lived and if she hadn't got off her nest early, I think #33 would have made it... it started to hatch after she got off the nest but it dried out before it zipped and it died.

    She was an amazing mother (we did pen her up alone with that many chicks) and that was a record for us.
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Broody hen equals less work for you. I bought an incubator this spring and never used it because I ended up with so many broodies. I had lots of chickies!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: