Hatching and Incubation

Choosing Which Chicken Eggs to Hatch

I recently incubated another batch of eggs from our Black Australorps. One of the first steps in the incubation process is choosing which eggs to hatch. Why does this matter? For several reasons. Not all eggs are equally likely to hatch. Excessively large or small eggs tend to produce chicks that are less vigorous or…

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Hatching Chicks in an Incubator

Baby chick visible at day 19

Once you’ve gained some experience raising chickens, I recommend starting to hatch eggs. You can perpetuate your chickens by hatching eggs from your own flock instead of needing to buy chicks every few years. It’s interesting and enjoyable, and you can learn a lot in the process. Hatching and raising chicks from eggs from your…

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Hatching Under a Broody Hen

A broody hen and her chicks

Certain times during the year, particularly during the spring, some of your hens may go broody. Some breeds of chickens (and certain strains) are more prone toward broodiness than others. What is broodiness? It’s when a hen decides to sit on eggs to hatch them. Her body goes through certain hormonal changes, and her behavior…

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What Are Straight-Run Chickens?

black australorp chicks

Straight-run simply means that you’re getting the chickens “as-hatched.” No attempt has been made to determine the gender of the chickens. Does “straight-run” mean that half will be males and half females? No, not necessarily, when you hatch chicks, they may come out 50-50. But you could also have more than 50% males. Or more…

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How Long Does it Take for Chicken Eggs to Hatch

GQF Incubators

It takes about 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch, once you start incubating them. That’s true whether you incubate them in an egg incubator or incubate them naturally under a broody hen. Both approaches take the same length of time. Using an Incubator When I’ve incubated eggs from our flocks in a styrofoam table-top…

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