So, you have some hens and now you want more! You can buy them from a hatchery, a local breeder (such as our Chickens for Sale) or you can hatch the chicks yourself. If you are interested in hatching your own chicks you will need to know what chick hatching supplies to get.
Essential Chick Hatching Supplies:
First, you will need hens (this is the most obvious component).
You will not get any fertile eggs without a rooster. So, since we are trying to hatch chicks, you will also need a rooster.
You don’t need one rooster per hen. You can have several hens per one rooster. Some people suggest up to 8. I have seen some suggestions that you can have an even larger ratio of hens to roosters.
Next, you will need to be getting fertile eggs from your hens and rooster(s). You can check out How to Tell if an Egg is Fertile if you aren’t sure if your eggs are fertile or not. Once you have hens, a rooster, and are collecting fertile eggs you can start hatching the eggs.
You can hatch eggs two ways.
First, if you have a broody hen, you can get her to sit on the eggs and hatch them.
You can tell a hen is broody when she stays in the nesting boxes most of the day. A broody hen usually also stays puffed up and acts quite put out if you try to get her to move off of her nest.
The other way that you can hatch eggs is with an incubator. There are a lot of different incubators out there: still air, circulated air, auto turner, manual turner, mini, cabinet…the list goes on and on.
When we bought our incubator we wanted a good quality one, but also had a budget we had to stick to. So, we bought a Brinsea Eco. (Since this blog was originally published we have upgraded to a GQF Digital Sportsman Cabinet Incubator) You will also need a hygrometer to go with your incubator.
If you have these four chick hatching supplies (hens, rooster, fertile eggs, incubator) then you can hatch your own chicks!
Are you planning to hatch your own chicks? Let us know what chicks hatching supplies you use.