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Starting hens to set

OrganicmanOrganicman Junior Member
edited January 2007 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Last winter I puchased some day-old Buff Orps' with the intention to start
hen hatching replacement chickens..I normally hatch by incubator, production
breeds for eggs and meat but after 20 some-odd years have become lazy...
Now I want to incourage my (now Mature & laying-well) Buffs to become
broody...I don't free range my birds..Too many predators...Right now, Temps
high's in the 40's/50's and lows around freezing...I have seen day old chicks
from game bread scratching in the snow...Any advice?...............Org'man:)

Comments

  • bantam guybantam guy Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    Hi, I have 21 bantams however mine free range. A reason that the chicks die is because of how many there are. sometimes the mother cant take it. another reason is that the other hens peck at them. Maybe you should try putting the mothers and chicks in seperate cages. Try to avoid putting 2 mother and 2 bunches of chicks in the same cage. Otherwise they will fight. Hope ive helped. Thanks
  • OrganicmanOrganicman Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    Thanks BG...Sounds like some good advice, but I quess my main concern is
    what conditions do I need to get my hens to "Start" setting eggs to hatch..
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited January 2007
    Organicman wrote:
    Thanks BG...Sounds like some good advice, but I quess my main concern is
    what conditions do I need to get my hens to "Start" setting eggs to hatch..

    You can't make a hen go broody

    You can help the situation
    1. Clean nesting material
    2. Warm nesting area
    3. Dark or low light nesting area
    4. Able to be isolated a bit more than normal, not a lot of traffic (human)
    5. Hen clean of lice or mites
    6. Nest clean of lice or mites
    7. Fertile eggs not to be put under hens until they are 'sitting tight' at least one week after they have gone broody

    Also a lot depends on the breed, if they are not broody birds then they willnot go broody no matter what you do

    This is some other information I found.. thought you may like to have a read

    Many people ask – when will my hen go broody and hatch some chicks


    A hens decision to go broody is based on the changing season, as indicated when daylight hours begin to increase

    If you hatch via an incubator, you will do best if you try to follow then hens hatch their chicks, and don’t stray too far either side of a hen’s natural timing

    Breeder flocks are strongest and healthiest in the Spring, making spring time chicks your healthiest chicks of the hatch

    Also chicks hatch in cool weather have time to develop immunities before the hat of summer causes germs to thrive

    Chicks hatched in warm weather tend to be a bit more sickly than chicks hatched in cooler weather but not winter time

    Bantams start to lay in about 18 to 20 weeks
    Standards start to lay in 22 to 26 weeks
    Large breeds start to lay in 30 to 42 weeks

    Depending on what side of the world live on
    In the US – best hatch months are February and March, in the far north where weather is a bit colder for longer March and April are the best hatching months

    In Australia – best hatch months are August and September, in the cooler regions where the weather is a bit colder for longer October and November
  • OrganicmanOrganicman Junior Member
    edited January 2007
    Thanks guys......Sound information there.....I'm probably too impatient....
    Think I'll quietly darken the area a'bit and add some extra straw to the
    milk crates..;) .....watching & note the daylight hours calender for record..
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