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Old 07-06-2015, 12:36 PM
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might not be easy to figure out at start ,,,but i believe it can work ,,,i think the best bet would be to use volume of water as a temp control ,,like maybe 50 gallons in a insulated area ,,,the incubator above it

with that being said i have hatched wild duck eggs on a water bed ,,,lol under a pillow ,,,i rescued them from a construction site,,,just used a damp towel to keep them moist

and several years ago i remember reading about some ladies who were hatching chicken eggs in their bras
You may be able to stuff 12-15 eggs in your bra, but I prefer one like this.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-1273-keros....aspx?show=all

The old ones were huge, held hundreds of eggs.
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Old 07-06-2015, 01:59 PM
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We have gone through many different breeds of poultry.

We have also tried an assortment of different brooders, but we lose electric power so often that any electric brooder can not stay warm consistently for long enough to hatch out chicks.

Last year we went to Silkies, and they hatched out a round of their own off-spring.

This year, I waited for the Silkies to do their first hatching. Then I stole all the eggs, and I put eggs from our other coops in the silkie nests.

One of those has hatched, it was a turkey, but it died a day later.
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:30 AM
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I watch the nests of the hens who set outside the coop. When the hen leaves the nest with her hatch, I raid the nest and put the best eggs in the incubator. I get 3-4 chicks that way.
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Old 07-07-2015, 10:56 AM
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I have never had a bunch of hens that one or two would not get broody. Even if there were no rooster. I would find a egg seller that had a rooster and just get couple dozen eggs of that breed and poke them under the setting hen.
First, i always put my setting hen in isolation, or seperate from flock. Never had a problem with poor hatch numbers.
I've hatches guineas, mallards, pekins, and an assortment of chickens in the incubator. Best momas for raising chicks are bantams.
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Old 07-07-2015, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O:gweh ha'doiwas View Post
...My Buffs are broody as well. They hold up great in the cold NY winters. My only complaint with the Buffs is their "gentleness". ...
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Originally Posted by HandLoad View Post
Buffs! ... Buffs get pretty big. Make lots of eggs, and some go broody. ... Buffs are good exposed, way down temps. ...
Buff is a color, not a breed. Brahmas, Silkies, Cochins, Wyandottes and Chanteclers etc. can all be readily found in buff.
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Old 07-07-2015, 11:01 PM
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Buff is a color, not a breed. Brahmas, Silkies, Cochins, Wyandottes and Chanteclers etc. can all be readily found in buff.
I think people use it as short for Buff Orphington. Like Mosin for Mosin Nagant, Harley for Harley Davidson...
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:09 AM
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Been reading some articles on the Icelandic chicken breed. Seems like they would be a good free range breed for areas with heavy cold. From what I read they don't do well when confined full time, but can be trained to return to their coop at night. Don't know that they would do so well down here in south GA though. When I was a kid, we always had Dominickers & Rhode Island Reds. I would like to try some Jersey Giants & Silver Laced Wyandottes.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:52 AM
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Don't rule out muscovies, great hardy "duck" which originated in central america so is used to heat. Ours lay daily, large eggs and are very friendly. They don't make any noise and eat just about anything they can fit in their bills that moves.
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Old 07-11-2015, 12:51 PM
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I've been around farm chickens for my whole life, over 50 years... Dozens of breeds over that time but only a few that I really think are good.

Right off I write off the Orphington, I've never been around a chicken that ate more!

Now, after all these years, I am down to Mostly Dark Cornish. A whole passel of assorted bantams too, but my main chicken is now Dark Cornish. The darn things are passable layers, monster meat chickens and do a fair job as setters. In fact, right now I have one that decided to sit on, and hatch, 15 little ones.

But the greatest thing is how little food they truly need. Basically, all they need is enough to show them where home is. All the literature you'll read about them is how well they do rustling for themselves. And it true! The darned things almost take care of themselves. Just a little egg laying mash every so often so they know where to roost and lay their eggs.

Last summer, one of them took off over the hill toward the creek and I thought she was dead. Three weeks later, yep, you guessed it, here comes momma with 12 little 'uns behind her! Somehow, she laid a nest full of eggs and she was able to hide from the coons, possums and assorted other predators.

Now, not only are they great meat chickens, good layers and fair setters, but I also use them to hatch my turkey eggs. When I get one that's broody, I'll save out about a half dozen Burbon Red turkey eggs and put them under the hen. Then after 7 days, I'll put a half dozen chicken eggs under her. After 28 total days, I end up with a dozen chicks and so far after quite a few years, I am batting 1000, with nary a loss! My turkeys aren't the best setters so I don't even mess with them while I have the Cornish to take care of it for me.

Drawbacks. They are not GREAT setters nor are they great cold weather layers. But they are fantastic meat birds. And they are definitely a SHTF critter when feed isn't available. We have to look ahead and consider feed not being available or at least, hard to buy if we even have money for it.

I should also mention, I just got back from taking 4 Dark Cornish to the local poultry action. Last weekend I took out three old Dark Cornish hens also, I've been getting rid of my old flock slowly. The three last weekend averaged $22 per hen and I'm hopeful these four will come close too. This breed seems to be somewhat desirable at auctions.
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Old 07-11-2015, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by S610 View Post

For folks new to chickens if you have a broody and want her to hatch eggs don't just let her sit on random eggs that get laid in her nest box (other chickens will keep laying in her nest). That leads to a ton of wasted eggs and dead embryos and may ruin any chance for even a couple of live chicks.

Give her 1 or 2 infertile marked eggs and keep collecting the rest every day, move her nest to a separate area of the coop (maybe pen it off and give her food/water) so she can set in peace and also so the chicks will be penned in with her for the first few days after hatch. Collect the eggs you want her to hatch, mark them, and put all of the eggs under her at the same time, preferably at night.

You want all of the eggs to hatch within a day of each other so she can tend to the babies without abandoning eggs that are a few days behind schedule. Sadly new chicken folks that have a busy hen house often see a setting hen and think "oh good...she will hatch out babies...I will let nature take it's course" without realizing a hen house is NOT a natural setting.
I do it a bit differently. A broody hen will generally stay broody for a while. So even if my other hens aren't producing many eggs, I'll save them to the side, you can do this for up to a week or so, by putting them on their side. Every 24 hours turn the egg over, not round ways, but end over end, and leave them laying on their side. I wait until I get a dozen eggs, (if it's a large breed chicken, 6 for bantams) and then I will make my nest for them away from the other chickens in a darker area. Then at night, I'll move the broody hen onto the nest and by morning she'll be setting nice and tight!

Another thing you can do if you have chicks and a broody hen is what I did a few weeks ago. The day after one of my hens hatched a clutch of only five (no eggs being produced!), I bought another dozen bantams that were a day old from a neighbor lady. That night, I slipped them under the hen and she was crooning by the time I left. The next morning when I went to check, she had accepted them all as her own.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:00 PM
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Another thing you can do if you have chicks and a broody hen is what I did a few weeks ago. The day after one of my hens hatched a clutch of only five (no eggs being produced!), I bought another dozen bantams that were a day old from a neighbor lady. That night, I slipped them under the hen and she was crooning by the time I left. The next morning when I went to check, she had accepted them all as her own.
Yeah I am thinking about doing that for the single bantam egg. I was not going to hatch out more chicks this year but the broody bantam has been trying for weeks so I caved in and let her keep an egg (one broody hatched out 2 bantam eggs and they are now 3 months old).

I have Marek's in the flock and while everyone is healthy and doing great a single chick would be very stressed during adolescence with no hatch mates/friends for comfort, that could trigger a fatal Marek's episode for the little girl (fingers crossed that it will be a pullet).

I may order a couple of leghorn chicks and slip them under the broody right after the hatch but they will be MUCH bigger than the OEG bantam chick.

Have you had mixed hatches with different size chicks and did they do okay together even as adolescents?
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:36 PM
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Have you had mixed hatches with different size chicks and did they do okay together even as adolescents?
I have, many times and without a single problem.

I've also raised chickens and turkeys together from being hatched until they were almost full grown. I think the chickens just thought they were shorted in the height department!

I separate my chickens and turkey's when they are about 8 weeks old though and let them be what they are, separately.
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Old 07-13-2015, 08:47 AM
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Looks like I will be adding a couple of Norwegian Jaerhon chicks to the flock next week, the broody will be thrilled.

Never heard of them before but a local breeder has some and they are autosexed by color so I am guaranteed pullets. Small 3.5 lb hens that lay a lot of large white eggs. Gentle temperaments and great flyers that require a covered pen, they sound like a good match for my flock.

They are the Norwegian equivalent to a Leghorn and bred specifically for heavy egg production while requiring less food and being great foragers.

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Old 07-17-2015, 03:20 PM
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My current small flock includes Rhode Island Reds (while smaller than the others, they are egg-laying MACHINES!); Silver-Laced Wyandottes; Barred Plymouth Rocks; and a Buff Orpington. All dual-purpose, heritage breeds. The Buff is the largest of all the chickens, and I picked this breed because it is the most likely to go broody. Of course, in my current location, I am not allowed to have roosters, but THAT problem will be solved next month when we move to our 19 acres that we are in the process of buying.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:10 PM
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i bet those norwegian chickens do pretty well in really cold climates too
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:57 AM
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The Buff is the largest of all the chickens, and I picked this breed because it is the most likely to go broody.
Your Buff Orp could go broody but the odds are against you with only one bird, some lines are much more broody and some less but on average it is probably about 30% for that breed.

You might want to get a few more to increase your odds or get 2-3 birds from breeds known for their high levels of broodiness such as silkies, cochins, game hens, etc... Breeds created as pets or show birds and not engineered for heavy egg production.
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:34 AM
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Just a thought, but the idea was the best chicken for SHTF.

To me, that means a substantially smaller bird that eats less. Except for farmers or those with a mean to produce feed, a smaller bird, although they have less meat would be a better bet. And smaller birds would make do with table scraps during the winter, a bit better, wouldn't they? Just thinking out loud here!
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by S610 View Post
Your Buff Orp could go broody but the odds are against you with only one bird, some lines are much more broody and some less but on average it is probably about 30% for that breed.

You might want to get a few more to increase your odds or get 2-3 birds from breeds known for their high levels of broodiness such as silkies, cochins, game hens, etc... Breeds created as pets or show birds and not engineered for heavy egg production.
I do plan on getting more Buffs (actually, I plan on getting a few other breeds, as well) but have to wait until we get out onto the land we are buying.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:46 PM
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Just a thought, but the idea was the best chicken for SHTF.

To me, that means a substantially smaller bird that eats less. Except for farmers or those with a mean to produce feed, a smaller bird, although they have less meat would be a better bet. And smaller birds would make do with table scraps during the winter, a bit better, wouldn't they? Just thinking out loud here!
I agree especially if you want them to forage for some of their food. If the birds will be free ranging then coloring, the ability to fly, and a wary/alert temperament would be very important for survival too.

Meat is nice but their real long term value lies in high protein egg production.

I would like to store some feed corn long term in buckets but am worried about the moisture content causing problems, lots of conflicting info on whether feed corn is dry enough for storage. If the shtf being able to give them corn during the cold winter months would be vital.
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Old 07-18-2015, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 44 Flattop View Post
Just a thought, but the idea was the best chicken for SHTF.

To me, that means a substantially smaller bird that eats less. Except for farmers or those with a mean to produce feed, a smaller bird, although they have less meat would be a better bet. And smaller birds would make do with table scraps during the winter, a bit better, wouldn't they? Just thinking out loud here!
In New England, they used to have a bounty on pelts. So every rural family had someone who trapped. This kept the predators down, and allowed every farm house to have free-ranging poultry. Except for when there is snow, most poultry can feed itself. You only need to feed them during winter.

Today there is no bounty on furs, so predators abound. Every time we have allowed our poultry to free-range the predators get them within 2 weeks.

Which forces us to feed them.

Feed consumption is a major concern. So is mothering instinct.

If you produce eggs for market, then you want egg producers. But only works now when there is no SHTF.

The same goes for meat birds.

I do not know what the 'perfect' breed is. We have done meat birds, we have done egg-producers, now we are trying to get something to be a good mother.

I have not seen any breed of chicken that could not survive here in Maine.
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