Hatching chicken eggs can be done either with a broody hen or with an incubator. If you choose to allow a hen to hatch the eggs naturally, it’s important to have a breed that is prone to going broody, such as a Buff Orpington or a Silkie. Make sure the broody hen has a spacious nest box and is isolated from other birds, and provide her with plenty of food and water. Chickens take 21 days to hatch, and the broody hen will likely stay with the eggs until they hatch. If the eggs do not hatch within a few days, they are likely, not viable.
Alternatively, you can use an incubator to hatch chicken eggs. First, purchase and set up the incubator according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, choose fertile eggs from healthy chickens that are less than a week old. Clean the eggs and place them in the incubator, making sure to follow the incubator’s specific instructions for temperature and humidity. Candling the eggs can help you determine which eggs are fertilized and developing properly. After 21 days, the chicks should hatch. Once they have dried off, you can transfer them to a brooder to continue their care.
No matter which method you choose, it’s important to be patient and attentive to the needs of the eggs and chicks. By following these steps, you can successfully hatch your own chicken eggs and start raising healthy chicks.