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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I wonder if anyone has tested the limits out? I have 3 FBCM hens currently broody. I have one hen on 9 eggs, the second hen on 10 eggs, and I'll be giving the third hen real eggs tonight (currently on golf balls). These FBCM's are large birds, larger than my Orpingtons. They seem to handle 10 eggs easily, so I'm thinking about going to 12 on this next one.

Any experiences you can share with me?

Thanks!
 

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LOL Not me, I raised bantams. Ten sounds like the more doable number though for complete coverage.
 

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I don't know what a FBCM is, but a large hen can brood 12 eggs. Whether they all hatch or not is anybody's guess and dependent on way too many variables.
 

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I don't know what a FBCM is, but a large hen can brood 12 eggs. Whether they all hatch or not is anybody's guess and dependent on way too many variables.
French Black Copper Marans

I didn't know what it was either, I googled it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pics to follow. Right?
Sure, I'll snap a pick of all 3 FBCM's on their nests tomorrow. This is my first year with FBCM's. So far they are a great breed, however, I know some people that bought some of crappy blood lines that don't produce the super dark eggs. A person definitely has to be careful where they get them from.
 

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Yep, they do. Over the years we figured out that the longer lived birds are those that come from private breeders. And have the characteristics that we want more often than the hatchery birds.

Are these going to be the only peeps hatching? I guess what I'm getting at is 30! or 32! That's going to be a herd of little peeps.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep, they do. Over the years we figured out that the longer lived birds are those that come from private breeders. And have the characteristics that we want more often than the hatchery birds.

Are these going to be the only peeps hatching? I guess what I'm getting at is 30! or 32! That's going to be a herd of little peeps.
I expect I’ll have more broody hens as we get into spring and summer. As broody as these FBCM’s are, I bet I get 2 or 3 more broody hens after this - maybe more. My next difficult task is figuring out what to do with all these chickens. Facebook won’t let you sell them, so it’s hard to advertise them. With the quality egg color, these birds will be in high demand.
40450
 

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I'm not on FB, I didn't know they wouldn't let you sell the extras. What is Marketplace that I hear about?

The only thing I can think of is posting that they're for sale everywhere you can think of. Craigslist is a good resource but many folks don't want to pay the price for quality birds.

That white egg is huge! You're right, the FBCM eggs are nice and dark.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not on FB, I didn't know they wouldn't let you sell the extras. What is Marketplace that I hear about?

The only thing I can think of is posting that they're for sale everywhere you can think of. Craigslist is a good resource but many folks don't want to pay the price for quality birds.

That white egg is huge! You're right, the FBCM eggs are nice and dark.
Thanks, that's actually a light blue egg. It probably looks extra big because it's near the lense of the camera. Here's some picks of my pile of FBCM broody hens:

40451
40452
40453
40454
 

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Serama King
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Hey all, I wonder if anyone has tested the limits out? I have 3 FBCM hens currently broody. I have one hen on 9 eggs, the second hen on 10 eggs, and I'll be giving the third hen real eggs tonight (currently on golf balls). These FBCM's are large birds, larger than my Orpingtons. They seem to handle 10 eggs easily, so I'm thinking about going to 12 on this next one.

Any experiences you can share with me?

Thanks!
It varies from hen to hen. It also depends on the egg's size. I have had hens successfully hatch 16 chicks. The thing is, more is not always better. Overall, a hen will hatch more when she is given less eggs, but I am sure your hens could easily cover 12 eggs.

Something many people do not consider is the type of nesting material used. The material should cushion, be coarse enough that eggs don't sink in it, and the material should hold the nest shape. I prefer hay, straw, or long grasses. The nest itself plays a big role in just how many eggs hatch. If the nest does not hold the eggs in place the hatch will be less. Goodluck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It varies from hen to hen. It also depends on the egg's size. I have had hens successfully hatch 16 chicks. The thing is, more is not always better. Overall, a hen will hatch more when she is given less eggs, but I am sure your hens could easily cover 12 eggs.

Something many people do not consider is the type of nesting material used. The material should cushion, be coarse enough that eggs don't sink in it, and the material should hold the nest shape. I prefer hay, straw, or long grasses. The nest itself plays a big role in just how many eggs hatch. If the nest does not hold the eggs in place the hatch will be less. Goodluck!
Thanks. Yes, it certainly does vary from hen to hen. I agree that more is not always better, but at the same time, I don't want to put too few in there when they could hatch more.

You bring up a very good point. The first 2 broody hens I had this year, I used wood shavings as the nesting material. The hatch rates were 2/6 and 4/9 respectively. Not very good. I think you've hit the nail on the head of what my issue was with the nesting material. There certainly was no defined nest bowl and the clutch didn't stay together with the shavings. I suspect the cause of the low hatch rate was due to the shavings. I'm sure you've seen in my pictures above in a previous post that I now have grass hay under all my broody hens.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
When did they start sitting? Are looking to have peeps very shortly?
The hen in the top box is due to hatch on April 9th, the hen in the middle is due to hatch on April 23rd, and I just put eggs under the hen on the bottom last night.
 

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Serama King
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A lot of people use wood shavings and I know they are losing chicks because of it. Candling is very important. If the eggs, for whatever reason fail, you have the option of trying new eggs. Also, if spoiled eggs are not removed they may break and ruin good eggs. And, thirdly, removing eggs that are not viable gives more room for those that are viable and it is a lot less likely for an egg to be pushed aside.
 
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