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I have taken a keen interest in chickens. I used to have chickens 5 years ago but weasels ate them so now I'm picking a better spot for chickens to live and I'm setting up a pen

chickens are smarter than they look. Like all animals if you spend enough time with them you will see their better qualitys. I had a hen who watched for the school bus so she could be fed.

This chicks are more than just a cute face. They have to have lots of love and attention so they can learn that humans are a trustworthy creature. If you love on your chicks enough when they grow up as hens and have chicks of their own they will let you hold their babies without so much as a cluck and will even bring their chicks up to you.


QUICK NOTE: I'm not the professional. I'm hatching eggs in a agriculture class at school and I have raised chickens before but I don't cull eggs based on shape and color. I usually mix breeds to see what I'll get and I've had some good and bad results. I also let the hen do her job of sitting because I don't have money for a incubator. Also be sure and have a rooster with the hens so the hens can lay eggs that hatch babies.

First thing is first! If you don't let the mother set on the eggs for obvious reasons (valuable hen, danger of predators getting mom because she is protecting chicks.) Buy yourself a incubater. I have seen them at farm stores. I live in a farm oriented state so It may harder for you to find a incubator if you live in a non farm oriented enviroment a.k.a new york city. If you have a small flock of 4 hens stick to a 20 egg incubator. In 6 days 4 hens can lay 20 fertilized eggs. eggs can live 7-10 after fertelization and hatch so store the collected eggs where the tempature is 55 degrees for 6 days. On the 6th day set your incubator up where you plan to hatch the chicks. The tempature for ALL eggs is 99.5 so set the tempature on the incubator. watch the incubator for 3 hours before you put in the eggs so you will be sure that the tempature is stable. You need to fill one water tray in the incubator on the first day and keep filling it every other day. Now you need to get your eggs out. Before you set them in the incubator use a crayon and put a X on one side of the egg and O on the other because you have to turn the eggs two or three times a day so the babies wouldn't stick to the egg. If you neglect turning them the babies will not hatch or they will come out deformed. On a piece of paper put day 1 though 21. It takes chickens 21 days to hatch. Record every time you turn the eggs and by marking X's and O's you will know what side to turn the eggs on. You will need to turn the eggs and fill the first water tray till the 18th day. On the 18th day stop turning the eggs because the chicks are planning their escape from the eggs and they don't need to be confused. Also fill both the water trays now and fill them every day to keep the babies from suffocating in their eggs. On the 20th day you should hear peeping coming from the eggs. This simulates all the chicks to hatch on the same day. I find it great for bonding with the chicks if you talk to them before they hatch. You can also hold the egg while the chick hatchs but DO NOT help the chick. If you do you could end up pulling his intestines out on a accident because the umbilical cord is attached to the egg. If the chick cannot hatch on it's own after a good while you may help it but afterwards you have to work hard with the chick to get it to build muscles. I had one chick out of 18 who tried for hours to hatch but his shell wouldn't break so we helped him and as soon as I had him out of that shell I put him on the floor to bond with his mom but she rejected him because he couldn't walk and I made him run for my hands to teach him to walk. I would set him on the floor a foot away from me and he would run into my hand and I would warm him up and cuddle him then set him back a bit farther every time till he could run. He would run, do a little summersult and run into my hands. The next day I stuck him under the hen and she accepted him. See what a pain in butt helping a baby is?