Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Hatching Eggs: Broody Chickens and Duck Eggs on the Way

5/7/2009 11:47:16 AM

Tags: Community Chickens, chickens, poultry

We have a broody hen that’s been sitting on eggs for three weeks. Today should be hatch day! For the last few days, though, she’s been off the nest quite a lot. The eggs look dirty. And much of the time she’s simply hovering over them — even standing on them. She still seems broody, though, so I’m not quite sure what’s going. (It’s been quite a while since I’ve used a broody to hatch eggs.) Two things come to mind: 1) The chicks in the eggs are creating enough heat that the hen doesn’t need to sit right on them all the time, or 2) something is wrong with the broody hen and she’s not going to pull off this hatch. I’ll write an update on that next week. In the mean time, share your thoughts on this in the comments section below.

Next week, the Community Chickens project will be off to an exciting start. Duck eggs will be arriving for us to use in our incubator tests. Metzer Farms will be sending 60 Golden 300 Hybrid eggs. We’re getting 35 Pekin duck eggs from Hoffman Hatchery. And Ridgway Hatcheries is sending an assortment of duck eggs.

I’ve been hoping to try a few of the Golden 300 Hybrid ducks for some time. They’re supposed to be excellent egg layers and calmer than Khaki Campbell ducks. A bonus for our project is that the male ducklings are shades of black; the females, shades of brown. We’ll be able to determine the gender of the ducklings easily. (Because they’re hybrids, this characteristic doesn’t continue in future generations.)

Duck eggs can be a challenge to hatch, so this will be a good test of the incubators. Duck and goose eggs require more humidity during incubation than chicken eggs. Another challenge is the wait! The duck eggs will take 28 to hatch (instead of just 21 for chickens).



Related Content

Which Poultry Hatching Eggs are in Which Incubator?

We’re trying out several incubators with chicken, duck and quail hatching eggs.

Incubating Duck Eggs Successfully

I tested a new incubator against my old Styrofoam incubator. Find out which one is the best for incu...

Best Hatching Results — Incubator or Momma Hen?

Preserving rare breeds requires that the animals are successful in having babies. For our poultry, w...

Available: Experienced Baby-Goat-Sitters

Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.