When keeping chickens, the farmer periodically renews the livestock, diluting it with young. He has a choice: either buy chickens and grow them to adulthood, or buy eggs and hatch chickens in hatching conditions. The third method is most popular in small farms, when the chicken hatch eggs to the chicken.
The way of hatching babies under the mother mom is considered the most effective and easy for the owner. The chicken incubates chickens on its own, observing all the necessary conditions. When babies are born, she feeds them, protects and transmits maternal experience. All this significantly reduces the number of farmers' troubles.
The task of the host in providing the ideal conditions for this process. He has to increase the percentage of survival of kids to the maximum, because profit and profitability of his business depend on it. Usually several best chicks are selected from the whole flock, under which the egg lining is carried out. It is important for a farmer to correctly decide on the choice of the hen-mom.
Selection of hens for incubation of chickens usually occurs in spring. Firstly, at this moment maternal instinct wakes up from mothers, secondly summer time is ideal for growing hatched chickens. They are easily adaptable and ill with little. There is no risk of cold and death. Increases overall survival of offspring.
For such an important matter as chick breeding, the poultry farmer must select the best chicken with excellent maternal instinct. Not every pullet will cope with the task, and an experienced layer will easily sit the testicles and raise the chickens.
Identify a chicken who wants to become a mother, you can use her voice signals. The hen begins to emit certain sounds that characterize the word “cluck”. She also does not want to leave the nest for a long time, demonstrating her maternal readiness. She plucks feathers and feathers out of her to insulate the nest and make it cozy.
Important! If the maternal instinct is weak, the desire to incubate the chicks will disappear in a couple of days. To check it, they enclose plastic snag like chicken eggs. If the chicken does not throw the nest, they are replaced by real ones.
There are several criteria by which a chicken is selected to incubate chickens:
- Maternal instinct. It is determined by the sounds produced and additionally checked. Suitable chicken with the most pronounced instinct of the mother.
- The health of the hens. The chicken must be completely healthy, timely vaccinated and treated against parasites. Before choosing it is important to examine its feather cover.
- Hierarchical position in the hen house. Unwanted chickens are attacked by their relatives, which is undesirable for the future mother of chickens. With a multi-level perch, respected chickens are always at the top.
Important! If a suitable individual is not found with the whole flock, the instinct is forced to awaken. To do this, the nest is placed in a box, the chicken is planted there (mostly old), closed with a lid for 4 days (2 times a day they let out food and drink). In most cases, the hen begins to give signals of readiness for motherhood.
The breeder should carefully select eggs from the hen house for lining under the selected mommy.
Important! To avoid having to doubt the suitability of the product for breeding chickens, it is necessary to observe the ratio of hens and roosters in the house. Norm - 1 male per 10 females. There are exceptions (depending on the breed characteristics).
There are a number of requirements for eggs for incubation:
- Their producer must be healthy: timely vaccinated, treated against parasites, with no signs of indisposition.
- Laying should reach puberty (age varies depending on age characteristics).
- The testicles lined must be fresh. They are considered as such if 6 days have not passed from the moment of their production. The temperature in the house has a huge impact. Optimum indicator: from 15 to 20 degrees. Humidity about 75%.
- Broken and dirty are not used on the lining.
- When choosing a size oriented to the average. Small ones do not guarantee proper formation, large ones often contain 2 yolks of each.
- For accurate information, eggs should shine through the ovoscope. The presence of extraneous inclusions is not allowed.
The nest is the main element necessary for comfortable chickens incubation. In it, the chicken spends all the time until the babies appear. It is important to provide a comfortable environment and safety. Mom should not disturb and distract. Otherwise, she can leave her seat.
Nests are built in accordance with the number of chicken heads at the rate of 1 pc for 5 chickens. This is due to the fact that not all layers have maternal instincts. Those who are underdeveloped spend very little time in their nest.
Nest dispose in accordance with the rules. If it is in the corner, a simple wooden box is perfect. In the case of nests under the roost, it provides a metal roof (protection from pollution).
It is placed at an average height. The main thing is that mom-hen could easily get on it.
Important! With a high position, the hen will be uncomfortable. At low - there is a risk of rodent invasion that will frighten the chicken, and it will leave the chickens to hatch.
A thick layer of straw is lined up on the bottom (for softness and warmth). The location is chosen darkened, but ventilated and warm (not in draft).
The number of eggs for laying
Calculate the eggs for the lining - the next task of the owner of the chickens incubating chickens. In average, it can incubate up to 15 pieces. It all depends on its size and area of coverage. If the extra eggs do not receive adequate heat, the embryos will stop developing and there will be no chickens.
The chicken itself knows how many pieces it can take for brooding. To do this, put next to her 15 testicles. She will move them to her beak, forming a clutch. It is important to ensure that it is a single layer.
Important! It should check how much chicken took the food and remove the extra.
When a hen is incubating chickens, some care should be taken. The first 2 days of incubation it is better not to disturb, so as not to expose to stress. The total time to the first peck is from 20 to 23 days.
On other days, she needs a balanced feed and water, and bowls are placed next to the nest. It happens that the mother hen does not rise from the nest. This must be carefully monitored. In case of such behavior, the farmer removes it from the nest every day for 20 minutes.
At this time, the clutch is covered with straw or a towel. During this time, you should tidy up the nest, pick up the damaged eggs. If the chicken rolled out the testicles, then the germ died in them. They should be thrown away.
The hen must warm up to avoid diseases. Spoiled eggs begin to decompose, contributing to the spread of bacteria. This should not be allowed. Sometimes the nest needs changing the feed. These procedures are performed during the absence of the hen.
Chicken incubates eggs for about 21-23 days. By the time this period may be less. Usually hatching occurs from 20 days to 23.
The first 2 days during the process of incubating mommy should not be touched. She is very worried and nervous. This may adversely affect her condition, provoke a deterioration of health.
Sometimes the chickens are so absorbed in the maternity process that they don’t want to leave the nest even during the feeding period. This should be carefully monitored, carrying out forced walking of chickens for 20 minutes a day.
Hatching occurs from 20 to 23 days. You should not wait any longer. As they proklevivaniya, chickens are taken from the mother and transplanted into the box, waiting for all the offspring. Then for 24 hours they take away from Mommy, so that she can rest and warm up.
The temperature in the chick room should be between 36 and 38 degrees. At the time of their mother's absence, the farmer feeds them, crumbled with boiled yolks with water. In a day the babies return to the chicken. From this moment you should not interfere in their lives. Mom will cope with growing and feeding chickens.
How does a hen chicken differ from a hen?
With the breeding of specialized breeds, chickens were divided into egg and meat crosses, and egg and meat breeds, which carry eggs with equal success, are also popular, while feeding good weight. One of the most popular egg breeds is white leggorn, and these are really good layers, however, the maternal instinct of this breed is almost completely atrophied. Leanhorns become less common than henchmen than, for example, Plymouths or Kuchinsky chickens. According to the villagers, the local mixed breeds, which themselves once hatched in the hen's nest, become remarkable chickens that chick out eggs.
If we consider the question of how much a hen hatch eggs to a chicken, then the dates for all breeds are the same - these are standard three weeks. Terms may vary within plus or minus a day, but this is an insignificant difference. The main thing here is that the hen incurs all the trouble of raising young stock, it is she who leads the chickens, nursing them up to a certain age.
How many eggs do chickens incubate?
Often, inexperienced farmers are concerned about how to calculate when the hen has sat on the clutch, which day to consider first. This is actually quite a blurred border, because the hen begins to squash and sit on the nest even before it has a sufficient number of eggs, according to the owner. This is partly due to the method of artificial formation of masonry.
If the hen begins to khloht and demonstrate readiness for incubation of eggs, the owner selects fertilized eggs, from ten to fifteen pieces, depending on the size of the hen, puts it in the nest and sits on them future mother. It is much easier to calculate how many days the chicken incubates the eggs, because they are demolished at about the same time with a difference of a day or two. After that, 21 days are counted, after this period, you can get ready brood of young stock.
Benefits of hens in home gardens
If the farm has a regular chicken harem with an active rooster and healthy chickens, then the hens may turn out to be two or three for an average chicken family. This is quite enough for the regular appearance of the young replenishment. However, it is not enough to calculate how many eggs chickens hatch, other indicators matter, namely mother's care, how many times a year she is ready to hatch young, how many eggs are placed under such hen and how large the culling is, whether there are crushed and cooled eggs. If the hen does not finish the job, throws the half-laid laying, then the next time it is better to simply drive it from the nest - degrade it into simple layers.
Nevertheless, the hen is profitable - it completely replaces the incubator, it is inexpensive, but keeps the young with all possible vigilance, attracting the rooster to this noble mission. Also, the chicken is quite capable of incubating duck, turkey or goose eggs, you only need to adjust their number.
Losses of chickens in the farm, where chicks are behind them, are much less than in simply bought birds. A hen is able to discourage a chicken from a cat, a crow, bravely rushes at dogs, ferrets and even hawks.
Reproduction of chicken stock
The average chicken brood is twelve chickens, maybe a little more or a little less. If we consider that the egg production in a chicken is usually transient, a three-year-old chicken already significantly reduces this figure. A constant turnover of livestock allows you to keep a uniform amount of egg production. Culling layers and extra cockerels allows you to provide a family with a moderate amount of poultry meat.
The reproduction period is formed as follows. It is necessary to calculate how much the chicken incubates the eggs to the chicken, and how long it will take the chick to develop into a full-fledged member of the chicken community. It turns out the following mathematics: three weeks of hatching, and young hens of egg breeds begin to age at the age of 4.5 months. Thus, over the summer period, you can completely update the livestock of the chicken coop, form a flock of pullets, the peak of which will fall only next year.
Care for hen chicken
In order to provide the hen better conditions and not to provoke her to throw a hatching, you need to properly care for her. Not all hens stand up from the nest to eat or drink, most selflessly sit on the ground until the bitter end. How many chickens hatch eggs? For three weeks on the starvation ration without water, even the bravest chicken will die. Therefore, a caring owner should provide the hen with high-calorie food, fresh water, as well as peace and quiet. Therefore, the nest for hatching should be in a shaded sheltered place.
The situation is complicated by the fact that the hen that is hungry or thirsty will be silent, like a partisan during interrogation, and the host’s forgetfulness will result in cooled down clutter at best - the defeated hen will throw the nest.
Miniature Japanese chickens, which, for their small size, are excellent hens, proved to be the most reasonable. They are able to quickly and quickly leave the nest to refresh themselves, and then return to their place before the irreparable happens to the eggs. Such chickens are stress-resistant, but capricious, they are difficult to seat on the nest chosen by the owner, they choose their own place to hatch.
Chicken hen or incubator?
Under the usual chicken more than fifteen eggs do not put, but in the incubator, you can shove a few hundred, depending on the size. What to choose? If trade in chickens is planned, then the incubator remains the undisputed leader. But to accelerate the development of chicks will not work - the incubator is not a pressure cooker, how long the chicken incubates the eggs, so much the incubator will warm the embryos loaded into it.
There are also disadvantages to the incubator, the long-term power outage definitely sends all the eggs to the scrap. But this device can work continuously all year round, the hen is not capable of it.
Economic feasibility of the hen
If you count how many times a hen hatch eggs, then it turns out that even the most beautiful hen is capable of this feat a maximum of twice a year. Chickens are rarely seen, ready to sit on the nest more often. Therefore, one hen with good performance will give about 25-30 chickens. However, it will be supervised and trained chickens, the hen itself regulates their diet, teaches how to distinguish between edible and inedible, shows which objects should be feared.
It would be somewhat illiterate to reduce the definition of the economic feasibility of the hen to the question of how many days the hen hatch eggs. The hen helps to minimize losses among the young, and this is also beneficial.
The time spent on the organization of the natural reproduction of livestock
Does this require a lot of time and effort from the owner of the farmstead? Calculate how much time a hen incubates eggs, compare with his own plans for livestock renewal, carry out a preliminary culling of an aging bird - all this is done between deeds. All that is required of the owner is to know every good chick “face” in order not to accidentally send it to soup instead of another bird.
Knowing the time, how many weeks the chicken incubates the eggs, it is possible to determine in advance whether all the eggs under the hen will become chickens. For this, it is enough to check the eggs on the ovoscope after about ten days or look at the lumen. This will remove chatterboxes or empty eggs, but putting others in the middle of hatching is not recommended.
A hen helps the natural reproduction of livestock, from the owner requires a minimum of effort with maximum attention, nothing more.
The advantages and disadvantages of breeding chickens with a hen
An egg or meat-wading chicken that smelled in spring for experienced poultry farmers can be a reason for joy or an extra headache. Chick breeding in the wild has many advantages:
- There is no need to control the process in the incubator, monitor the temperature, turn the eggs.
- The time-consuming process of nursing the chickens, feeding the mother hen will also take over.
- The bird instinctively controls the process of heating, the emergence of chickens into the world, helps break through the shells if necessary.
- A hen is able to distinguish fertilized eggs with normally developing embryos from non-viable ones, it pushes eggs that are unsuitable for progeny from the nest.
- From the first seconds of life, the offspring of chickens is under the most careful protection, the hen will not only teach the chickens to eat and drink, but also protect them from any danger, cover them from cold and rain.
Есть еще несколько недостатков появления наседки в хозяйстве:
- Курица перестает нестись.
- "Roll up" under it can be no more than 10-15 eggs, making sure that all were covered with its feathers.
- It is necessary to collect eggs for hatching in advance, it should start hatching at one time.
- For the hen with future offspring, separate walking is necessary, as chickens with chickens show aggression not only in relation to small and large predators, but also to their former neighbors in the poultry house.
- Sometimes hens are extremely careless, especially if disturbed, they can crush eggs and chickens.
- For mass breeding of poultry in a farm, incubators are much preferable to chicks. And in a personal subsidiary farm, breeding chickens in a natural way can be a wonderful experiment, interesting for both children and adults.
- Observing how babies are born, how mothers carefully care for them, how chickens grow and develop, becomes an excellent lesson for poultry farmers.
How to select chicks?
Not every chicken can be a good hen. Even a swollen and long sitting on the nest of a wedge mother can be useless. After sitting for 2-3 days on the eggs, some just rise, go for a walk and no longer approach the nest.
Attempts to force them to continue hatching can lead to the destruction of eggs.
Although some poultry farmers practice methods such as arranging a nest in cages or boxes where it is easier for the chicken to close and darken the nursing site, it is still quite risky.
When selecting a bird for chick breeding, you need to check in advance which of the chickens are most suitable for the role of mothers:
- The bird should be healthy, not weakened, normally fed.
- She must sit in the nest on the eggs for at least 3 days before those that have to be hatched roll under it.
- Juveniles rarely sit down to hatch eggs, usually broods - adult chickens 2-3 years of age.
- The bird should be calm, normally developed, well feathered.
- Before the brood begins, the hen practically barely bares the belly, pulling out a feather to cover the bottom with a warm bedding.
- Chicken should not be overfed, heavy hen can damage eggs.
The breeding instinct makes many birds periodically cry out, the owners should carefully observe each one in order to choose the future mothers who can both sit out and leave the offspring.
How to select eggs?
Even duck and goose eggs can be rolled under a good hen, the main thing is that the dates of breeding coincide.
Before you allow the chicken to freely sit in the nest, you need to carefully examine its contents:
- Eggs can be collected for several days, stored at room temperature.
- Smooth, of medium size with a normal shell structure, are suitable for hatching.
- Do not put damaged, heavily polluted or much larger eggs in the nest.
Before you sit down the chicken, the eggs should be checked with an ovoscope (an ordinary flashlight without glass is suitable). In the first days in the egg there should be no blotches and impurities. Only a small black dot in the very center is the germ.
On day 5-8, embryos are already visible in the egg. You should not constantly see through the eggs, it is enough 3 times during the incubation period.
It is necessary to remember about the number of future chickens - even a very good mother will not be able to go more than 15 pieces.
You should not once again disturb the hen, removing and laying eggs, it is better to immediately put the required amount and allow the chicken to sit quietly.
Creating the necessary conditions for breeding chicks
A nest in a darkened corner of the house or in a separate room in which the hen willingly rushed, is also suitable for breeding. But the hens also need rest, overly curious neighbors can cause harm to future chickens, make the hen nervous and aggressively:
- A box or cardboard box no less than 60 cm long and 30-50 cm wide, with high bumpers that prevent the eggs from accidentally rolling out.
- The bottom is covered with turf, foliage or straw.
- From above it is worth pouring sawdust or fresh hay.
- Down and feather the hen lines the bottom itself.
- The room should be cool, dry, but not cold.
- Chickens must ensure good ventilation, constant access of fresh air.
If desired, the hen should quietly leave the nest and freely return.
Properly equipped place for breeding chickens in many ways becomes the key to successful breeding.
How long does the egg hatching period last?
It is necessary to prepare for the removal of chickens under the hen, as this process is rather long.
Chicken can sit on eggs for up to 30 days. This period includes the time at which the owners can determine if the mother hen will leave the club, remove the pads and place eggs for breeding birds in the nest.
From the moment you start hatching until the babies appear, 21-25 days pass If no one emerged from the egg after this period, this means that the embryo died or the baby was not viable.
It is interesting to observe the unique process of the birth of babies. One can only wonder at the wisdom of nature, because taking care of chickens of the mother hen begins from the first days of hatching. Chicken teaches kids to the sounds of his voice, listens carefully to what is happening. She hears the first squeak, deeper under herself rolls the eggs that started to cool, helps to make the first pricks to weak chickens when they are born:
- 2-3 days before the appearance of chickens, even a person can hear a low squeak that comes from under the shell. The chicken listens carefully to the sounds, clucking over each egg, some wiggles.
- 1 day before the birth of babies, the first cracks in the shell appear: the grown chicken tries to break through the hard shell with an egg tooth (hard growth, which disappears 2-3 days after the appearance of the chicken).
- The cracks increase, a clear squeak is heard and the soft beak of the beak about the shell is heard.
- 3-4 hours before pecking in the shell, a hole appears in which the beak can be seen.
- The hole quickly grows in size, soon the head, legs with claws can already go into it.
- Having completely destroyed the protective layer, the baby is in the nest next to the mother completely wet, the hen gently pushes him under him.
This happens with almost every egg. Carefully watching, the chicken only sometimes helps weakened babies who cannot destroy the shell on their own. She can hit the shell gently several times or just one to help.
A person does not need to interfere in the process in any case, it is more likely to harm than to benefit.
Heating and drying the chickens, the mother will show the yellowish lumps how to eat, drink, where to look for food. This will not happen before the chicken is ready to move. Accelerate this process is also not necessary.
Is it possible to distinguish the sex of chickens in the first days of life, and in what ways is this done? Find out about it by reading our article.
How much should a broiler weigh, one month old? You will find the answer here.
How to determine that the chicken is ready to incubate
If you want to get healthy and strong chickens, then the hen must be chosen appropriate. Pay attention to healthy young birds. The duration of puberty in different breeds of chickens may vary:
- For egg-type birds, this age is 5 months,
- Meat-egg birds are ready to become hens in 4-5 months,
- Meat-like birds become sexually mature at 7-8 months.
Chickens are birds with a long laying period. One bird can be carried for 10 years, making annual breaks for a month - two. It becomes a hen in the first year of life, however, a full-fledged maternal instinct develops in two-year-old chickens. If you want the chickens to grow and develop normally in natural conditions, then choose a hen no younger than 2 and no older than 7 years.
- To determine that the chicken is ready to hatch eggs, you can by appearance - pay attention to the scallop. If its color became saturated-red, and the comb itself increased in size, the chicken was ripe for breeding chickens.
- Another indication that the hen is ready to sit on the nest will be its increased talkativeness - as they say, tongues.
Choice of hen
To choose the best hen among your chickens, carefully follow the behavior of all birds for several days. Of particular interest are chickens with the following features:
- The bird rises early and later all goes to bed,
- Has a big belly, but does not suffer from obesity,
- Chicken plumage is thick and not dull,
- The hen actively clucks, does not want to leave the nest,
- The bird plucks out feathers and down and tries to lay down its nest,
- It has large wings combined with a large crest.
When you notice such an individual, test its ability to incubate eggs.
- To do this, put some porcelain or wooden dummies of white color in the nest, you can use ping-pong balls and sit the chicken on top.
- If the bird has a well-developed maternal instinct, then it will not throw eggs.
- On the second or third day after the hen has sat on the nest, you can replace the dummies with real eggs.
It is such a hen that, due to the peculiarities of its constitution, will be able to sit the maximum number of eggs, and a developed maternal instinct will greatly facilitate your rearing - the chicken will look after the chickens itself.
When a person needs help
After 20-21 days, the chicks should begin to hatch. At this time, special attention should be paid to the hen and her offspring.
- Prepare a dry cardboard box for hatched chicks or an incubator, in which the air temperature must be 36-38 degrees. This is in case the hen leaves the chickens, refuses to bring them up, as well as in a cold room where babies can catch a cold when they get out from under the mother's wing.
- Often the breeders separate the youngsters from the moms, as this allows them to collect all the chickens from different layers in one place, raise them, and the chickens will begin to lay eggs again in a short time and be ready to hatch.
- When the chicken has just hatched, it should not be taken away from the hen - the baby must first dry out. Then you can shift the chick into the prepared box and wait for the next one to appear.
- This process can last several days, it all depends on whether the eggs were simultaneously laid in the nest or not. In the first case, all the babies will see the light within one day.
- If the chickens did not hatch after 21 days, although all the eggs were planted under the chicken at one time, then this may have several reasons.
The hen may leave the nest after the first chick has hatched, without waiting for the rest to appear. To avoid this, you need to carefully monitor the hen.
- If she tries to get out of the nest, sit her back before the rest of the young.
- As hatching, drying of chickens, transplant them into the incubator, as this mother may not pay attention to the kids, they may suffer from other tribesmen or freeze, as a result of which they get sick.
While you keep chickens in an incubator or box, you should give them the first food. Best suited for these purposes boiled yolk, low-fat cottage cheese. Do not forget about fresh water for young.
How the egg is formed and how the chicken lays it
Contrary to popular belief among inexperienced poultry farmers, the hen does not have to hatch only its eggs. The future generation of young chickens can be taken from different mothers. Choose eggs with a good shell without cracks and stains.
Eggs from hens can be selected for a week and stored at a temperature of 15 degrees and a humidity of 75%. One laying for hen includes 15-25 eggs at a time. The main thing is that the chicken could completely cover the eggs with its body and give them enough heat.
Note! If necessary, you can lay eggs of other birds in the clutch, and the chicken will also take them under his care.
In order for the chicken to freely hatch eggs, suitable conditions should be prepared for this.
- It is best to use natural materials to create a nest - wood, straw, etc.
- A wooden box without a top with the parameters of 35x55 cm will be a good option for the nest; its height can vary from 15 to 20 cm. At the bottom of the box, lay a dried straw bedding.
- The hens prefer to hatch eggs in dark and warm places where other birds will not interfere.
- It is not recommended to place the nest on the floor, since rodents may disturb the bird and future youngsters, but you should not place it too high either - it will hurt chickens to fall on the first walk.
- When the nest and hatching place is ready, place the eggs and the hen there. This is best done in early spring - this time is considered the most suitable for incubation.
- If the chickens move freely around the hen house, then most often they themselves impose the number of eggs necessary for hatching, warm the nest and sit down without forcing. But if you wish, you can always control this process.
If chickens are kept without a rooster, then it is not necessary to wait for the offspring, as the eggs will be unfertilized. During the incubation of the hen does not carry eggs.
Breeding chickens at home with the help of a hen is a natural, effective way to get young. However, it should be understood that hatching eggs, raising babies is a very big responsibility for the chicken, which can not but affect its well-being. In order not to torment the bird, use an incubator for breeding young on an industrial scale.
Dmitry V. Morozov
Hereditary poultry farmer, owner of a poultry farm, graduated from St. Petersburg State Agrarian University with honors, the author of articles in specialized publications