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Natural brooding

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1 Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:50 am

Ruffledfeathers

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Okay so this is my VERY 1st time even remotely making a valid attempt at making babies. I have so many questions....
1) how long does it take to incubate
2)Can she get off and on the nest without losing to much heat?
3)How do you mark the eggs to know when they were layed?

Please keep in mind I am so NEW to this and I am going to have loads of stupid questions. I never thought I wanted this, but now I'm dipping my toe in the deep end ha ha.

Am I truly chicken addicted ?

2 Re: Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:58 am

heda gobbler

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Chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese? Where do you want to start???

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

3 Re: Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:55 am

Ruffledfeathers

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Holy smokes if I got any flightier I might just float off.

I am starting with chickens barnyard mix, banty and full size. I put some scovie eggs in to but they mysteriously disappeared.

4 Re: Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:14 pm

Farmer Bob

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I have a Buff Orpington setting right now. She is the product of a natural setting last year. The book says 21 days for hatching, but under a hen it usually takes a day less. So can pretty much count on chicks at day 20. My hens get off once a day for usually less than a half hour. It appears like anything under an hour is of no concern and quite normal. I use fake eggs in the nesting boxes and take all the real eggs out and refrigerate them at 11 degrees, turning twice daily. Then when the hen is definitely broody, I place the real eggs under her. I literally number the eggs with a pencil. When I get to day 10, I start rotating them out, so none of my eggs are older than 10 days.

5 Re: Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:04 pm

heda gobbler

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Good Post Farmer Bob!

They can fool you though. My Blue Slate turkeys are particularly bad some years - all the hens will lay in one nest, no one goes broody until there are about 40 eggs in the box and then one goes broody for a week, gets bored or harassed - or something - and gives up. So you have to be prepared for disappointment. Some like really busy nest areas, some (like the Blue Slates) do better in a quiet corner.

Then you have to give some thought to how the chicks or poults or duckiings are going to survive in the barnyard. It's a rough and tumble world out there!

http://www.tatlayokofold.com

6 Re: Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:44 pm

authenticfarm

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Move her to a private pen, if you can, and if she stays broody, then give her eggs. Should take around 21 days.

I wouldn't mix duck eggs with chicken eggs, as the duck eggs take a week longer to incubate, and she's likely to abandon them once the chicks hatch.

I keep my broodies in their own pens (chicken tractors work well), and they will rejoin the flock when their job is done, and the babies will go into the grow out pens with the others.

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

7 Re: Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:06 pm

Ruffledfeathers

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Ok. That's awesome advice.

Here's what I have going on....
1 Beltsville hen sitting on half a dozen lg and sm chicken eggs its been just over 2 weeks now.
1 Cochin x hen sitting on the same amount marked with the day they were layed. In a lg wire kennel
1 Buff Orpington with 1 sm egg under her. Looking to move her to a kennel by herself and put more under her.

I just finished my turkey pen so my brooder closet is clean and drying right now as I type. I was hoping my plan would consist of placing the chicks in there to grow to a healthy size before releasing out to GP(general population) .

So in theory am I on the right track? Cause to be honest it feels good. But I am completely open to ideas and changes.

8 Re: Natural brooding on Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:53 pm

Farmer Bob

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Sounds like you are on the right track to me. If I understand correctly, you are planning on taking the chicks away as soon as they hatch and raise in a brooder? Lots of people do that I think. I prefer to leave the chicks with the hen in a chicken tractor of their own until such time as she tires of them. Usually 5-6 weeks. I probably keep my youngsters separate from the rest of the flock longer than a lot of other people on the forum. I don't like to integrate them until they are about 4 months old, then I just start letting everyone loose out in the corral together until they start to naturally mingle. The pullets eventually just start following the main flock around and follow them right into the main house after a few days...and that is that. Worked like a charm last year.

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