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Incubator, or broody Chicken

Home Forums FOOD PRODUCTION, HARVEST AND STORAGE All things Chicken Incubator, or broody Chicken

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    When first starting out I decided that i only wanted to breed chickens and ducks, ah la Naturale. I specifically chose Australorps, and Khaki Campbells. Both known for great egg layers, good meat size and great broodies and mothers.

    Now i am wanting to get an incubator/brooder. for two reasons, Impaitent, i want to have chickens this year however, mine will be all to young to breed with this year. However i did buy two older chooks, this will be their second year laying.

    I also would like to buy fertile eggs as a way of increasing my gene pool and getting blue and splash australorps. If I am going to spend money on buying fertile eggs, i dont want to run the risk of the chicken getting bored and hoping off the eggs.

    What is your thoughts on Incubators pro’s and con’s

    I would be getting the proper heat lamp not light so they would not be under bright lights 24/7.


    I’ve incubated once, never again. I believe all babies need mamas and so

    I wait till I’ve got a broody 🙂


    I’ve done both, had problems with incubators and power failers and big chooks squashing eggs and by far the best is bantam hens for hatching and raising youngsters. Have had them hatch ducks as well…………bit confusing for the little mums when they swim in the water dish!

    Bantams don’t need a huge amount of room or feed, don’t squash eggs, never had one abandon the nest and are fiesty little protective mums…………my choice any day 🙂


    I have done both, and have seen the good and the bad of both choices. I have Silkies, and for the most part they are very good mothers, but each chicken is still an individual and you can have bad mothers and good mothers in all breeds. If you go the way of an incubator you have to take the chance of a black out, I always had lots of towels and a blanket I could wrap it in if it happened. I did once, I was lucky it was only for an hour and the temp dropped by less than 1 degree, I still had a very good hatch rate. If you’re the one hatching them and not a chicken then they will take up more of your time, as you are the one that has to be their mother. You do pick up if anything if wrong with them faster than if a hen has hatched them.

    It’s a personal choice, but right now if I had to choose I would stick with a hen because of time constraints. If I wasn’t studying I would go with both. But then I have just had two broodys I have had to kick off and out of the pen.


    Thank you Everyone, All points considered I dont think I have enough time to be a chooky mumma.


    I have never really considered an incubator. The first time i had a hen sit,i didn’t have a rooster, i just went and bought fertile eggs. From those eggs i was lucky to find that the breed has roosters with a beautiful temperament. So it just happens when it happens here. But i do admit waiting for a broody hen never seems to happen when you want it to :dry:


    I’ve also done it both ways and there is always good and bad points of both.

    For an incubator you need to turn the eggs at least twice a day unless you get an auto-turn incubator [which are expensive!]. You do need to candle the eggs regularly and chuck any that are not developing or they could explode! One good thing with incubators is that you dont need to wait for a chicken to go broody [which never happens when you want them to!]. I will often incubate my rarer more expensive eggs in the incubator. Power failures are a concern but generally if the power is only off for a short time it shouldn’t effect the eggs. It is betterto lose a few degrees in temp than to gain a few degrees!

    With broody hens there is always the risk they will decided to not sit the whole time. I’ve had it happen before and I had to get the incubator to finish them off but lost all but 1 from 12 eggs. It is good watching them grow up and often chicks raised by a hen will go onto normal feed a lot quicker than those hand raised. Some hens will crush some eggs but that is normally from the hen having too many eggs under her.

    Chickens you hand raise will always be friendlier than those raised by a hen, which is great if you have kids. I personally do not think that hand reared chicks are any ‘less’ of a chicken or are confused. Most of their behaviours are instinctive or they will learn it from the older chickens when they are put in there.

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