I have a broody hen. She has been broody about a week. I put a fertile silkie egg under her, but I have an opportunity to either put some newly hatched chicks with her or possibly get some ameraucana eggs to put under her. I don't know if she will raise the chicks or hurt them. She has only been broody for a week. If I put eggs that will hatch soon under her will she be okay and raise the babies. I don't know if a hen can tell that it is or is not 21 days. It's getting late in the season and starting to get cold at night. Lots of things to consider. I am fairly new at raising chickens. Can you give me any advise?
Will a broody hen only raise eggs that hatch under her?
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A hen that has only been broody for a week will not usually adopt chicks. She needs to be broody for at least a full two weeks usually. If you give her eggs to hatch, add them all at once. Don't give her some now, and some latter. As soon as the first couple chicks are a day or two old, she will leave the nest to start tending the chicks, leaving behind all the partially developed eggs to go cold and die.
I got a dozen Ameraucana eggs. I put them in her nest after I removed the single egg. She was very happy and pulled all the eggs under her right away and settled in. She has been brooding for a week. The eggs are due to hatch next Friday. We were able to keep the eggs the right temperature during transport. We got them from a farm an hour away. They were all candled and have chicks. We are hoping for great success.