Breeding chickens the natural way is an ideal method to grow the numbers in your flock. Be that as it may, some backyard farmers stay away from this method for fear of winding up with multiple roosters. But for most people, rearing chickens by themselves is simply part of the agrarian experience and one that isn’t so difficult to do, particularly if you have a broody hen. To help you out, here are the BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO HATCHING CHICKEN EGGS .
Select a Broody Breed
The broody attribute is something that hens either have or they don’t. If you intend raising chicks naturally, select a breed like Buff Orpingtons that have an extraordinary state of broodiness. In any case, not all Buff Orpington breeds will go broody, so you need to sit and hold up until it is the right time.
Seek the Assistance of a Rooster
Now we have to talk about the technical part. To breed chickens, you first need a rooster to take care of business, as an unfertilized egg will never hatch. One chicken for every twenty hens should get the job done so you are bound to end up with a lot of fertilized eggs.
Stay with a Pure Breed
Genuine chicken farmers don’t allow different breeds of birds to mate, as the consequences of their actions could result in an erratic and potentially unviable hatch. You can take two breeds of the same kind and place them together to breed.
Let the Mother Do the Work
Try not to trouble your broody hen. She needs to feel sheltered and secured in her box so she doesn’t relinquish her eggs and chicks. Leave the eggs be and have water and food available for her nearby (but not too close to the eggs so she doesn’t knock into them). When the chicks arrive, the mother hen is the brooder lamp—she knows what needs to be done.
Examine the Hatching Process
AS it is with natural hatching, certain failures could occur. Not all clutches will bring hatch, and even when a broody hen takes care of business (sitting on the eggs for 21 days), not all of the eggs will end up as chicks. A few chicks would die off, before and after hatching. Also, a few eggs may never hatch. To examine the procedure, carefully expel any unhatched eggs four days after the first chicks have made it out, and afterward, candle them to see what is within.
Feed Everyone the Same Food
Amid the early weeks, feed both the mother hen and the chicks the same starter feed. Separating them won’t be easy anyway because they will refuse to leave each other’s side. As for the broody hen, you can start feeding her chick starter.
Acquaint the Chicks with the Flock
Depending on the temperament of your flock, it might be best to isolate the chicks from whatever remains of your flock. Most free-range flocks do not seem to have a problem with the new chicks. But, every experience is unique, so introduce the new chicks cautiously when they are a few weeks old.
Appreciate the Experience
There’s nothing quite like watching a mother hen take her babies out to forage or seeing a chick’s little head poking out from between her wings. So enjoy the process, and then share the bounty when the new chicks mature into egg-laying hens.