Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Why You Should NOT Let Your Chicken Hatch Eggs

Sounds weird right?  Broody chicken is the natural way of hatching eggs.  Chicks are definitely healthier and take to eating and drinking better than incubator-hatched chicks.  Chickens keep their chicks at a constant temperature and they protect their babies amazingly.  So what's the problem?  Well, let's just say my hens have had some technical difficulties that I need to talk about.  

1.  They Pick STUPID Places to nest

So, we have lots and lots of nesting boxes which are safe in our chicken coops.  We recently had an ex-battery hen who decided to jump the fence, go through our garden to our drive.  She then started laying eggs in a bush under our house window.  The problem came in when we couldn't find her one night and she had to stay outside (we lock our chickens up every night).  Luckily we found her the next day BUT it was one stressful night.  Why can't they just stay in a safe place?  

2.  They Can't Decide Whether They Want Chicks 

Yes, I really have gone through this.  My light Sussex Hen was sitting on around 10 eggs for over 2 weeks.  She then decided that she didn't want to be a mum and abandoned her nest to make another one!  what the heck.  So, I gave her some of my call duck eggs (instead of incubating them).  call ducks do not lay a lot of eggs so these were rare.  She incubated them for a week and gave up again, wasting my beautiful call duck eggs.  

 She wasn't done there.  This bloody hen then thought it would be a good idea to STEAL another hen's nest.  Luckily that mamma got her nest back and now has a cute little chick (the other egg must have died when her nest got stolen).  

3.  You Can't Keep an Eye On The Chicks

The only time EVER that I have had a chick die was with a hen.  Now, I know that hens are GREAT mums but I can't check the chicks enough.  When I am looking after chicks inside, they all start to eat and drink small amounts by day 2.  The problem is when you are not able to check that each chick under the hen is eating and drinking multiple times a day, deaths can happen.  

Obviously, I am a bit obsessive with making sure my chicks are thriving but it really is a disadvantage.  To counter this, I try to make sure my hens only have around 2 chicks so I can keep a better eye on them.   


I am not any type of animal expert but instead only an animal lover who wants to share her tips.  Please consult relevant animal specialists and do not only take my advice.

 The Rider's Pets


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