Incubation and Hatching

This category covers everything about chicken Incubation and hatching

  1. Incubating and Hatching Chicks

    Hatching your own eggs is an interesting experience that many of us are tempted to partake in or may have already done. For 21 days, we wait and watch excitedly for baby chicks to appear, eagerly welcoming them when they finally do. Options for hatching include letting the hen act as a natural incubator, incubating eggs laid by your own chickens in a manmade incubator, or incubating eggs purchased elsewhere and possibly shipped. Whichever option you prefer, the end goal is the same: baby...
  2. Encouraging Hens to Hatch Eggs

    Chicken owners talk a lot about broody hens. In most cases, it is discussing ways to discourage broody behavior. Since many of us want eggs from our chickens, a broody hen can be a setback to the egg program. Not only do broody hens stop laying for the amount of time it takes to hatch an egg (21 days) but it can also be time consuming to get them to start laying again, even if the eggs they were trying to hatch were not allowed to do so. With all of this in mind, who wants a broody hen?!...
  3. Repurposing Milk Crates as Economical Nesting Boxes

    In keeping with the trend of saving money while raising chickens, it makes sense to also consider the ways in which you can save money on nesting boxes. Since nesting boxes are something you will need several of, they can get pricey if you were to buy or build individual ones to acclimate your entire flock. Instead of spending money on lumber and materials or buying something prefab, it is possible to score something from your local grocer that can be used as a nesting box with little to no...
  4. Decreased Egg Production

    When you go out to collect eggs in the morning, chances are a feeling of elation overcomes you at each egg found. Knowledge that your hens are happy and healthy is reinforced by each egg you come across. If there are few eggs or even none at all, a whole different feeling overcomes you: disappointment. Decreased egg production can happen for a lot of reasons. These reasons can vary from environmental disturbances to health issues or even stress. To diagnose which birds\' laying has...
  5. Pullets & First Time Egg Laying

    As your pullets grow, you may be eagerly awaiting the day they will lay their first egg. Watching for signs of imminent egg laying is sure to be exciting, but what specifically signals that an egg is near? The time when a pullet lays her first egg (referred to as the 'point of lay') depends on several things. Egg laying for the first time usually occurs around six months of age but for some pullets can take up to a year or even longer. When a pullet will lay is also influenced by health,...
  6. How to Recognize a Fertilized Egg

    There may come a time when you need to seriously investigate whether or not your rooster is doing his job. If you are interested in hatching chicks, it is important to know that the eggs on which your hens are sitting have been properly fertilized. There is not much worse than a hen spending 21 days trying to hatch eggs that were not viable. That amounts to three plus weeks a broody hen has wasted sitting on the nest in addition to the time it will take to get her back to laying again when...
  7. Incubating Chicken Eggs

    Obtaining Hatching Eggs Fertile eggs can usually be obtained from hatcheries, poultry breeders, E-bay, Craigslist, and other sources. You can look online or in the yellow pages of your phone directory for names of hatcheries and poultry breeders. If possible pick up fertile eggs instead of having them shipped. Many things can go wrong when eggs are shipped, such as x-rays, rough handling, over heating or under heating, etc. All these factors can play a roll in whether a fertile egg will...
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