Egg To Your Table – DIY Hatching Eggs – Brooding Chicks!

Sharing your garden with chickens is a bad idea! They can and will eat almost anything that does not eat them first. Anything vegetable or green plant is ‘Food’ to them, carrots, onions, tomato’s, you getting this picture?
Yes, your right, they are really good at controlling insects in your yard and garden. In all the years I have had free run chickens and ducks, I have never found a tick in my yard or on me or my dogs. However, after the insects are eaten they will continue to feed on your plants! What they don’t eat outright they will scratch and dig up looking for insects, worms, grubs and weed seeds.

Being the Frugal kind of guy that I am I have set for hatching a lot of eggs in the past 50 years. Chicken, duck, goose, turkey, quail and pheasant eggs are just a few of the eggs that I have hatched having some success with all of them.

In the U.S.A. it has become rare to find game birds or water fowl on American tables. With that in mind, unless you want to raise a few birds for yard ornaments, take water fowl and game birds off your want to hatch list. Keep in mind that to barn yard birds you look like a feed bucket. When you call them and they come running, they are looking for a easy meal that you provide for them.

A few things you should consider ‘Before’ you get your first hatching egg is the cost of equipment required/needed to be successful in hatching, brooding, feeding to laying or butcher age.

  • Where will I get fertile hatching eggs? How much will they cost? How many eggs will I need?
  • How much will an incubator cost? Do I have a location suitable for incubating eggs?
  • What will I use as a brooder? Where will I locate my brooder? How will I heat my brooder?
  • Do I have a suitable coop and outside area large enough for the birds I will be hatching?
  • Do I have chick feeders and watering containers? Feeders and watering containers for adult birds are not generally suitable for raising chicks.
  • Remember new chicks can not eat and digest the same feeds you normally feed adult birds.
  • I did this year hatch 14 eggs, grin, I should say my 2 broody hens hatched 14 chicks. A bantam hen can cover and hatch about 7 or 8 bantam eggs or 4 or 5 standard size chicken or duck eggs. By doing this, I have placed all the work on the hen. No worries about incubators or brooders. Rule of thumb I will get 7 – 8 pullets from 14 hatch lings, this is enough to replenish my needs in keeping a small flock of chickens.

    Seven or eight hens generally provide all the eggs needed by me and my daughters family. By the way I raise all bantam’s and they lay smallish eggs but are good layers. When frying up bantam eggs where I would cook two standard chicken eggs I now cook three or sometimes even four bantam eggs.

    A handy reference for those new at DIY hatching and Brooding chicks.
    Hatching and brooding chicks Melvin L. Hamre – Extension Poultry Specialist, University of Minnesota.

    If everyone and thing is cooperative, in about 24 weeks new chicks will start laying. Any of the older hens that are no longer laying and the roosters will become the main ingredient in Sunday lunch consisting of a large pan of chicken and dressing 🙂

    Why is common sense so uncommon?
    Don’t be Shy. Leave me your comment(s)

    8 responses to “Egg To Your Table – DIY Hatching Eggs – Brooding Chicks!

    1. Pingback: Harriet, A Chicken For All Seasons | Town & Country Gardening

    2. Thanks for the great post, love it. One thing that is amazing is hatching eggs on your own. Using an egg incubator to hatch your egg can be quite enjoyable, especially for families with little children. It gives them a lot of responsibility and they love it.


    3. Pingback: 2012 – New Chicks – Your Brooder and Coop | Town & Country Gardening

    4. Pingback: Chickens – Coop’s – Egg Production – Ornamental Poultry | Town & Country Gardening

    5. Jackie Paulson Author

      awww, so real so cute! Thanks for posting this.


      • Grin, thanks for your visit to my humble little blog.
        I don’t seem to know when to stop, or should I say my broody hens don’t know when to stop.
        I have ‘another’ hen setting on 10 eggs (I think) that should start hatching this Wednesday or Thursday.
        If I’m not careful I will have more eggs than me, my daughters family, friends and neighbors can eat.
        Happy blogging


    6. Pingback: How Long Does it take for Goose Eggs to Hatch? | I Love to Read | Write | Share Knowledge

    7. Pingback: CATALOG CHICKS « Grumpa Joe's Place

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