bantams as broodies

Do you need information on incubation, hatching or raising? Post here!

bantams as broodies

Postby teach » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:56 am

I have had 2 shockingly low hatch rates in my last two attempts at incubation, while a funny looking little bantam x that my wife was given has hatched out 100%. First lot got cooked for a few hours when we had a scorching hot day and the incubator got to 104 for several hours. Got 11 out of 40. Then with this last lot, 1 out of 11 candled as fertile (originally 20 posted eggs). We had 2 power outages. the eggtopsy showed they died a few days ago, probably before lockdown. Only one looked like it should have hatched. Apart from those issues, I had been doing the same old technique that had seen me hatch out 90-100% consistently.
Are all bantam breeds prone to broodiness and are some better than others. Tempted to get a couple. Even my barnevelder did better and she was incubating 3 eggs and 2 large round stones. I think it is much less stressful leaving the ladies to do it.

Can anybody recommend a breed? Or all they all pretty similar.
teach
Quail
Quail
 
Posts: 89
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:04 pm

Re: bantams as broodies

Postby Kracka » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:27 am

I've got loads of Pekin bantams - some are good at it, some aren't quite so, I think its a bit try it and see. Generally a hen in its second season/summer onwards is better than a first time pullet. Generally a quieter bird is better (so you can pick them up & check the eggs without her panicking). I've tried two (full sized) Orpingtons to hatch eggs (both nice quiet birds I could put my hand under) and both smashed eggs well before they got close to hatching. I had a cross breed bantam that would sit on a couple of plastic eggs for months, then when an unexpected batch of ducklings walked out, I could pop them under her at night & the next day she'd be happily mothering them. I've also got a line of Blue Pekins that if you try to put anything other than blue (splash or black) chicks under them, they kill them.
But yes, the natural incubator (when its a good one) is WAY better than the mechanical incubator - almost never get splayed legs and with ducklings, never get angel wing either.
Kracka
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 1645
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 pm
Location: Levin

Re: bantams as broodies

Postby Kracka » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:31 am

re breed, with Pekin bantams:
on the plus side - lots of fluffiness low down to cover lots of chicks, gentle mothers (if they're not killers!), slow moving so they don't leave babies behind normally
on the minus side - fluffy legs/butt which can tangle around the chicks neck (keep a pair of scissors close by for some trimming sometimes)

Silkies are meant to be good broodies?? but I seem to have a line that doesn't sit?! - the plus here would be they're a bit bigger than a Pekin, to cover more eggs
Kracka
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 1645
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 pm
Location: Levin

Re: bantams as broodies

Postby eae » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:52 pm

The two outstanding mothers I have are a 3yo GLW and a 2yo RIR. I also used a couple of pekin X bantams this year, one was dreadful - she sat ok, but walked out on the chicks at 4w old, after teaching them to hate anything on 2 legs (she'd do full on Bruce Lee moves trying to kill us every time we walked near :roll: ). The other was good enough, but not nearly as attentive as the GLW or RIR. The RIR just let go of her 8w chicks a couple of weeks ago, after dragging them to every corner of our 2.5 acre property, showing them every bush to eat at, every dust bath location, and took them to eat dinner with the big chickens every night. Consequently we have 5 very well adjusted, confident and calm RIR chicks.

I've never used an incubator so can't comment on comparative hatch rates, but it seems that we hatch about 90% out of the fertile eggs that go under and we've only had one chick with a birth defect.
User avatar
eae
Chicken
Chicken
 
Posts: 582
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:02 pm
Location: Warkworth

Re: bantams as broodies

Postby Marina » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:12 am

My favourite broodies are Cochins followed by bantams. I've had Cochin hens cover 20 chicks without a problem. Last August one hatched and raised 15 chicks despite frosts and storms. She was, of course, in a pen with roof but still quite an achievement.

Teach - you already know the reason for the poor hatches in your incubator. Summer is a difficult time as often the daytime temperature is hot enough to start the incubation process. If the eggs are then stored or even posted those embryos die. Fertility of the roosters wanes and while one lot may be 100% fertile the next lot may not be as he was too hot to feel like chasing - or impressing - the girls. This season my roosters started to moult in late January which is 6 weeks earlier than usual. Especially the heavy breed roosters loose fertility while moulting.
Marina
Emu
Emu
 
Posts: 3325
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 11:16 pm


Return to Hatching & Raising

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests