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Incubation, Hatching & Brooding Chicks

Incubating Hatching Brooding Chicks

Articles and guides to help you incubate and hatch eggs, then raise your chicks successfully.

Table of Contents:

There are many reasons for incubating and hatching chicken eggs under a broody hen or artificially with an incubator. I have mostly hatched chicks using eggs from my hens as future replacements and to improve the bloodlines of the breeds I keep. 

For other people, hatching chicks can be to start or expand a flock, to sell some birds to raise money for the ‘feed fund’ or for the experience of hatching chicks with children, perhaps as a school class project.

Incubating eggs is fascinating, and, incredibly, a fully formed chick can hatch after just 21 days of incubation. No wonder hatching your own has been so popular over the last decade.

The only caution, if you are a beginner, please make sure you plan for unwanted male chickens. This unsavoury topic isn’t usually mentioned, but you will get male and female chicks hatch in reality and may need to dispatch chickens you can’t keep or rehome. I encourage you to seek help from a local experienced poultry keeper if you need to do this for the first time.

Whether you are buying hatching eggs to incubate with an incubator or broody hen or getting day-old chicks to brood (much more common in the US where hatcheries send chicks by post), you will find everything you need here in the incubation, hatching and brooding category

Featured Articles:

Incubating Chicken Eggs

Incubating and hatching chicks is a lot of fun, but we can also run into problems along the way. These articles will help you to learn to:

  • Choose an incubator and set it up correctly.
  • Monitor vital temperature and humidity settings for a successful hatch.
  • For difficult to hatch eggs, you can try the incubation weight loss method for setting humidity.
  • And if things go wrong, help is at hand with some tips in the incubation troubleshooting guide.
Incubation Humidity

Incubation Humidity

What is the correct incubation humidity for hatching eggs, and how do we measure it? How to get the right humidity for chicken, duck, goose & quail eggs.

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Candling Eggs

Candling Eggs

What will you see candling eggs? Pictures and videos of candling chicken eggs at 7 & 14 days of incubation and a useful air sac development chart.

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How to help a chick hatch

How to Help a Chick Hatch

In this guide, Gail Damerow will help us to understand why a chick can’t always make it out on its own, why it’s not usually a good idea to intervene, and if you do decide to assist, how to help a chick hatch.

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Hatching Eggs

Some “How To” articles to help you with your hatching eggs.

  • Did you know under the correct conditions, you can store hatching eggs for two weeks and still get a good hatch rate?
  • Do you need to clean dirty eggs before incubation?
  • How do you go about selling hatching eggs? How much could you make for your ‘feed fund’?

Raising Chicks

You will need to set up a brooder for when your chicks hatch, and get them feeding!

Feeding Chicks

Feeding Chicks

Feeding chicks when there is no broody hen to take care of them and what you can feed in an emergency if you run out of chick crumbs.

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Sexing Chicks

Sexing Chicks: How to Sex Chicks

A popular question from people incubating and hatching eggs is how to sex chicks? – how can you tell if they are male or female? Sexing chicks while young isn’t easy, but as they start to grow, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for.

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Broody Hens

If a hen goes broody, it is best to act quickly. There are three detailed articles to help you below:

  1. You can break her broodiness so that she can get back to being a normal hen (and lay eggs again), or,
  2. Give her some eggs to sit on. Hatching Eggs with a Broody Hen gives you some tips on how to do this.
  3. Once she has hatched her chicks, Broody Hen Care will help you look after her and her brood.

The Kit!

Equipment I've used that you will see in this category

Books

My recommendations

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I can recommend these books I have read. The banner link takes you to Amazon and also supports this website if you make a purchase :-)

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Articles about incubating, hatching eggs and brooding your baby chicks.

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